John Ernst Steinbeck
"Fields of Vision by D.Delaney”
Early years John
Steinbeck was born in Salinas,
California, in 1902 into a family
of moderate means. His native region of Monterey Bay
was later to become the setting for most of his fiction. In the years 1919-1925
he attended Stanford
eventually left without graduating.
Steinbeck moved to New York,
where he tried to establish himself as a published author while doing a variety
of menial jobs. Unable to get any of his writing published, he returned to California. He wrote his
first novel, Cup of Gold (1929), while working as a security guard. It met with
little commercial or critical success, nor did the works that followed: The
Pastures of Heaven (1932), a collection of short stories, and a second novel,
To a God Unknown (1933).
Critical and commercial success It was the collection of stories Tortilla
Flat (1935) that established Steinbeck’s reputation. The novels that
followed, Of Mice and Men (1937) and
his masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath
(1939), enhanced his popularity and reputation. During the Second World War, he
wrote some influential pieces of government propaganda and the anti-Nazi novel
The Moon is Down (1942). He also worked for a period as a war correspondent for
several news agencies. While still maintaining elements of social criticism Steinbeck’s
post-war work was more sentimental. Novels such as Cannery Row (1945) and The
Pearl (1947) lacked the hard edge of his earlier work.
Later years His
last works include the novels East of
Eden (1952) and The Winter of Our Discontent (1961). Although critics
highlighted the flaws in these, they were much appreciated by the general
reading public. In 1962 Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
He died in New York
"Tortilla Flat” and "Of Mice and Men John” Steinbeck’s literary output was extensive but uneven in quality. Today
he is best remembered for the work he produced in the 1930s. Tortilla Flat (1935), the collection of
short stories that brought him to the public’s attention, contains
compassionate and humorous portrayals of Mexican American workers in the Monterey area. Of Mice and Men (1937) is the tragic story
of two itinerant farm laborers and the deep bond of friendship that exists
between them. It was successfully adapted for the stage and screen, as were
several of his other works.
The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck’s
greatest literary achievement was his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath. The novel tells the story of an Oklahoma farming family who are forced by soil erosion to
leave their farm and migrate to California.
The novel describes their ruthless exploitation by a pitiless system of
his writing Steinbeck showed great compassion for the poor and the socially
outcast. His own first-hand experience of hard labor and exploitation gave him
penetrating insights into the plight of workers. In his most memorable works he
criticizes a heartless society which, instead of helping the weak, exploits
Steinbeck’s literary talent lies in his ability to create credible characters,
accurate dialogue and realistic settings. His style ranges from the lyrical and
poetic to the journalistic and scientific. His work is characterized by
sympathetic humor and keen social criticism.
External Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck