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Steinbeck's Experience And Its Reflection In His Work

2380 words - 10 pages

A plethora of emotions triggers a person's motivation to write. Whether it is disappointment, fear, bliss, or pure excitement, feelings produce an overwhelming sensation. The response to these feelings can rise from a person's environment, relationships, interests or current struggles. However, emotional madness can be simmered down through a practice of writing (Science 20). Clinical trials indicate that writing about deep or traumatic experiences can clear the mind of all the “confining” stresses and emotional suffocation (Bolarius 2). In detail, a new brain imaging study, conducted by UCLA psychologists, reveals how “verbalizing” feelings can cause a sense of peace and prove to be a “cathartic” exercise (Science 20). In fact, writing down emotions born from experiences provides an opportunity in the documentation for posterity. In the same way, John Steinbeck, the author of Nobel Prize winning literary work, has marked milestones in the history of literature, leaving insightful and evocative images in the hearts of millions and for future generations. Steinbeck's work has drawn influence from several events in his life. David Bender, author of the Literary Companion, writes that any “serious” work from Steinbeck “must begin in his western home of the Salinas Valley” (Bender 13). Steinbeck's strong relationships and time growing up in the West were tremendous influences in his novels The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl, as well as his short story “The Chrysanthemums.”
Most writers of the first half of the century focused on the characterizations of men and their motivations (Hughes 154). However, Steinbeck differed in this approach; he continuously wrote works that shined a heroic light on women. The relationships he built with the women of his time influenced his projects enormously. One instance of this is illustrated through Steinbeck’s mother. She was known for reading “bed time stories” routinely, flooding Steinbeck’s room with numerous pamphlets and novels. Author of Behavioral Management, T.J. Zirpoli, agrees that “instructional” environments have a robust impact on a writer’s literary abilities, especially if the instructions are driven at a young age. In a similar case, Steinbeck’s environment was “filled with books” and the family read aloud to each other as entertainment (Bender 13). Furthermore, Steinbeck asserted that as a child the women he was close with were “intelligent and ambitious people” (Hughes 24). To emphasize, Joseph R. Millichap, author of Critical Insights, reveals that Steinbeck enjoyed a “happy” childhood, allowing him to grow a prolific relationship with his family (Millichap 14). The author was fortunate enough to indulge in a productive relationship with his mother. The Department of Education in Michigan reveals studies of early parent involvement in a child’s writing increases the child’s engagement in literary practice (Elam 2). Steinbeck’s success can be partly attributed to his mother who...

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