· John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. Salinas is known as the "salad bowl of the nation"
· Throughout his life, Steinbeck used Pigasus, a flying pig, to symbolize himself. Some of his reasons for doing so - "a lumbering soul but trying to fly" and "not enough wingspread but plenty of intention"
· Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath in 1940. In 1962, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature
· Steinbeck was a war correspondent during World War II
· In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson presented John Steinbeck with a United States Medal of Freedom
· The Grapes of Wrath is considered to be Steinbeck's finest work. It was made into a movie with Henry Fonda playing Tom Joad
Epic; realistic fiction
The book starts off on the family's farm in Oklahoma and follows their path through America to California.
The Joads stand as exemplary figures in their refusal to be broken by the circumstances that conspire against them. At every turn, Steinbeck seems intent on showing their dignity and honor; he emphasizes the importance of maintaining self-respect in order to survive spiritually. Nowhere is this more evident than at the end of the novel. The Joads have suffered incomparable losses: Noah, Connie and Tom have left the family; Rose of Sharon gives birth to a stillborn baby; the family possesses neither food nor promise of work. Yet it is at this moment (Chapter Thirty) that the family manages to rise above hardship to perform an act of unsurpassed kindness and generosity for the starving man, showing that the Joads have not lost their sense of the value of human life.
In the 1993 State level competition in History Day in California Elis Palols received the prestigious Heilbron Award given to the California Historical Society for this paper. In addition she was the CCHS second place winner in senior papers. At the time she was a... [continues]
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