StudyBoss » Great Depression » Essay on John Steinbecks Impact On Literature

Essay on John Steinbecks Impact On Literature

Occasionally, authors write based on what has happened during their lifetime. Literature can be written in many different genres and those are how novels are made up as. John Steinbeck has had a huge impact on literature in many different ways. Steinbeck once said, “You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway”. This dramatizes that people only ask for advice because we think we are going to get the answer we are looking for, which is not always the case. Steinbeck had to work hard for making a name for himself in the writing world.

His two most famous works are The Grapes f Wrath and Of Mice and Men. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1962, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath. Most of his novels are based primarily in Northern and Central California. He had written several novels based on the lives of migrant workers. He had traveled all around the world to write about these migrant workers. John Steinbeck’s early life encouraged him to do what he had achieved throughout his lifetime. John Steinbeck was born on February 27th, 1902, in Salinas, California (“Steinbeck, John”).

He and his family were middle class people. His father served as the Monterey Country Treasurer and his mother was a schoolteacher (“John, Steinbeck”). He was the only son out of four children (Brannen, Sonia, etal). Steinbeck grew up caught between the transition from farming and ranching to the “respectable culture” (John Steinbeck). Growing up Steinbeck had worked on labor farms nearby his house. Also in 1925 to 1929 he worked at a resort in Lake Tahoe. At the age of 15 he started to write short stories, and that is when he knew he wanted to proceed to be a better writer (Brannen, Sonia, etal).

He attended the University of Stanford. There he took courses in English and in marine iology, but he never completed his degree (John Steinbeck). In late 1929 he married Carol Hennings. But in late 1948, she told him she never really loved him and had been unfaithful to him for several years. After getting over his heartbreak, he got married to Elaine Scott in 1950. In 1996 he went to Vietnam as a war correspondent and he sustained a major back injury, which led to a decline in his health. He then died in New York City in 1968 at the age of 66 (Brannen, Sonia, etal).

One of Steinbeck’s most famous novels was The Grapes of Wrath and it was the most famous novel of the twentieth century. Steinbeck wrote several novels in the late 1930s that focused on the lives of migrant workers, those who have traveled from place to place in search of work. The life of migrant workers was very hard under the best of circumstances, but during the 1930s, it was simply a matter of survival. During this time jobs were scarce, and those who had left the Dust Bowl for better prospects in California were treated with prejudice.

Also during this time, since it was so bad outside and it had been all dust, food was a hard thing to get. So therefore many of people starved to death. This novel was so amazing because Steinbeck made the readers feel like they were there when you are reading this story and it defines a country, those people, those problems and many more. Steinbeck’s traumatic story depicts human suffering at the hands of fellow humans. Also, the powerful rely on violence and dictatorship to keep the powerless lower classes down. The theme of dignity also runs throughout this novel.

Although, the Joads are treated like animals and experience terrible in justice, they refuse to be broken. Another dominant theme of The Grapes of Wrath is the power of family. As they left their homes for the life on the road, wenty families became one family, the children were the children of them all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was the dream. John Steinbeck had received the Nobel Prize in Literature as well as a Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath, which remains on the reading list of American high schools and college English classes today (“The Grapes of Wrath”).

One of his very well-known novels is Of Mice and Men, based on the struggles of the economic problems of the Great Depression. During the late 1930s California was struggling with not only economic problems of the Great Depression, but also ith severe labor strife. Steinbeck wrote movingly about the struggles of migrant farm workers. During these years, there were thousands of white Americans among the migrants, and Steinbeck writes about them in Of Mice and Men. During this time many people moved from location to location so often that it was difficult to organize themselves.

In addition, American unionism, with its traditional craft setup, did not welcome unskilled workers like farm labors. In the novel, he wrote about a group of people, the white male migrant workers, who were to shortly disappear from American culture. The novels continued o gain popularity over the decades clearly shows that it has transcended its historical times. Later in the year, the novel eventually was made into a movie and have a play (Historical Context of… ). John Steinbeck was such an amazing writer, he had received two big achievements in his life time.

These achievements were the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer for The Grapes of Wrath. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962 was awarded to John Steinbeck for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception. Steinbeck’s works are widely read and have been the subject of any motion pictures. In 1940, John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. The book traces the fictional Joad family of Oklahoma as they lose their family farm and move to California in search of a better life.

They encounter only more difficulties and a downward slide into poverty. The book combines simple, plain-spoken language and compelling plot with rich description. One of Steinbeck’s most effective works of social commentary, the novel also won the National Book Award (John Steinbeck). After being criticized about his fiction novels, he never wanted to write fiction ever again. Therefore he decided to write about his current period of time which had been The Great Depression. His interactions with migrant workers inspired his writing.

The conflict between migrant workers and management over labor rights became an important theme in many of his works. The parts of central California where Steinbeck grew up are so often mentioned in his works that the area is often referred to as “Steinbeck Country. ” For instance, the novel East of Eden mainly takes place in the Salinas Valley, and Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday and Tortilla Flat are all mainly set in Monterey. The character of Doc in Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday is based on Ed Ricketts, a marine biologist who was Steinbeck’s close friend and collaborator.

Ricketts was also the inspiration for characters in other novels such as Burning Bright, In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath. The fictitious pony in The Red Pony is based on a pony Steinbeck had as a child. Many of Steinbeck’s novels are based on what had happened throughout his life. As you see John Steinbeck’s life had a tremendous impact on all of his novels, including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice of Men. Of those two works, Steinbeck had achieved a lot of great accomplishments.

Steinbeck once said, “You only want advice, if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway. Meaning that people often ask for advice because they think they are going to get the answer they are looking for, which is not always the case. John Steinbeck’s life has actually taught me not to give up. He taught me not to give up because he had gotten criticized numerous times for his fiction works, and that didn’t stop him from continuing writing. It motivated him to write better novels. I was really inspired by John Steinbeck and enjoyed learning about him. I hope that others will feel the same way as I do.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.