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Literary Analysis

1583 words - 7 pages

First published in 1932, John Steinbeck wrote The Pastures of Heaven, a series of intertwining stories about ten families living in the valley. Each of these families, with an exception to the Munroe’s, grew up in the valley and it is considered home to them. They live, work, and admire the pastures until they end up leaving for unpredictable events that take place. In this novel each family has a downfall due to the Munroe’s unintentional actions.
To the people of the valley Edward “Shark” Wicks is considered an honorable and extremely intelligent due to his many business ventures; however all of them are fabricated by the deceitful lie he puts as a front for never truly having money. Shark has a beautiful daughter named Alice, and despite her glorious looks she is unbelievably senseless therefore he protects and fixates over her innocence until he let his anger and obsession get ahold of him which in the end ruins his reputation. This family gets blindsided by the Munroe son, Jimmie. Jimmie, the dramatic foil character, ruins the Wick’s family reputation by a series of events that lead Shark to get caught trying to shoot Jimmie and has to confess to the judge that he has no money for bail and all his wealth was a lie and he only used it to get respect. Shark was so ashamed and as a result he moved his family out of the valley.
Tularecito is a unique boy, known to be very gentle but at times can be uncontrollably violent. He has been an outcast throughout his life and when he discovers out he is “descended” from gnomes he searches for them because he believes he will find the only people that will accept him. Bert Munroe, as the dramatic foil character, covers up the holes Tularecito is digging to find his soon to be family. After witnessing Bert’s actions Tularecito reacts violently toward Mr. Munroe and beats him to unconsciousness. Bert Munroe’s unintentional actions lead Tularecito to his down fall by him raging out and having to go to an asylum for the criminal insane.
In chapter five, Steinbeck introduces the reader to Hilda and Helen Van Deventer. Hilda, Helen’s daughter, is a trouble girl who is diagnosed to have mental problems and drives Helen to a state at which she locks Hilda inside her room. When the Van Deventer’s move to the Pastures, Bert decides to greet them and hears Hilda’s screams coming from her room. When Hilda mentions that she plans to marry Mr. Munroe and Helen disagrees with her future plans, Hilda disappears from the house. In this family Bert Munroe disrupts this family by being an excuse and distraction for Hilda. In the end Hilda is found dead with a gun beside her and her death ruled a suicide for her mental problems.
Junius and Robbie Maltby are one of the families that live in poverty in the Pastures. Because of Robbie’s lack of clothing at school the school board decides to intervene in the boy’s life as an attempt to cloth him. The Munroe that disturbs the Maltby’s is Mrs. Munroe. When Mrs. Munroe,...

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