Steinbeck grew up in the beautiful, fertile Salinas Valley, and most of his memorable novels and short stories would be set in California. During his early years, Steinbeck's mother read to him from books such as Treasure Island and Robin Hood. He would return again and again to those early influences for symbols and themes.
As a teenager, he spent his summers working as a hired hand on neighboring ranches, where his experiences of rural California and its people impressed him deeply. Inhe enrolled at Stanford University, where he studied intermittently for the next six years before finally leaving without having earned a degree.
For the next five years, he worked as a reporter and then as caretaker for John steinbeck and the context of Lake Tahoe estate while he completed his first novel, an adventure story called Cup of Gold, which was published in Critical and commercial success did not come for another six years, when Tortilla Flat was published inat which point Steinbeck was finally able to support himself entirely with his writing.
In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in literature, Steinbeck said: In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.
Always politically involved, Steinbeck followed Tortilla Flat with three novels about the plight of the California laboring class, beginning with In Dubious Battle in The economic conditions of the time victimized workers like George and Lennie, whose quest for land was thwarted by cruel and powerful forces beyond their control, but whose tragedy was marked, ultimately, by steadfast compassion and love.
Both stylistically and in his emphasis on manhood and male relationships, which figure heavily in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck was strongly influenced by his contemporary, Ernest Hemingway. Even though Steinbeck was hailed as a great author in the s and s, and won the Nobel Prize for literature inmany critics have faulted his works for being superficial, sentimental, and overly moralistic.
Though Of Mice and Men is regarded by some as his greatest achievement, many critics argue that it suffers from one-dimensional characters and an excessively deterministic plot, which renders the lesson of the novella more important than the people in it.
Steinbeck continued writing throughout the s and s. His important later works include East of Edena sprawling family saga set in California, and Travels with Charleya journalistic account of his tour of America. He died in New York City in Following World War I, a recession led to a drop in the market price of farm crops, which meant that farmers were forced to produce more goods in order to earn the same amount of money.
To meet this demand for increased productivity, many farmers bought more land and invested in expensive agricultural equipment, which plunged them into debt. The stock market crash of only made matters worse. Banks were forced to foreclose on mortgages and collect debts.
Unable to pay their creditors, many farmers lost their property and were forced to find other work.
The increase in farming activity across the Great Plains states caused the precious soil to erode. This erosion, coupled with a seven-year drought that began inturned once fertile grasslands into a desertlike region known as the Dust Bowl.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers packed up their families and few belongings, and headed for California, which, for numerous reasons, seemed like a promised land.
Migrant workers came to be known as Okies, for although they came from many states across the Great Plains, twenty percent of the farmers were originally from Oklahoma.
Okies were often met with scorn by California farmers and natives, which only made their dislocation and poverty even more unpleasant.In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad and his family are forced from their farm in the Depression-era Oklahoma Dust Bowl and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of jobs, land, and hope for a brighter future.
Considered John Steinbeck's masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath is a story of human unity and love. A concise biography of John Steinbeck plus historical and literary context for The Grapes of Wrath.
The Grapes of Wrath: Plot Summary A quick-reference summary: The Grapes of Wrath on a single page. John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize, wrote as the conscience of his country for nearly 40 years. He died in his New York City apartment. Biological and Animal Imagery in John Steinbeck's Migrant Agricultural Novels: ARe-evaluation.
Josephine Levy. Tempe, Arizona. Critical reception of the work of John Steinbeck often. John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in , grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast.
Both the valley and the coast would serve as . Context. John Steinbeck was born in in Salinas, California, a region that became the setting for much of his fiction, including Of Mice and Men.
As a teenager, he spent his summers working as a hired hand on neighboring ranches, where his experiences of .