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John Steinbeck's Greatest Accomplishments

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John Steinbeck's Greatest Accomplishments

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  • October 20, 2010
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John Steinbeck, born in 1902 in Salinas California to John Ernst and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, became one of the greatest American writers of his century. Growing up Steinbeck read vigorously and was fascinated by Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur. It was Malory’s Morte D’Arthur that influenced Steinbeck for the rest of his life. Steinbeck graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended Stanford University. He took courses in science and particularly became interested in marine biology. Although he studied at Stanford for five years, Steinbeck left without a degree (Bloom). After moving to New York City in 1925 to take a job as a journalist, Steinbeck moved back to California and took to many different dead end jobs before finding his niche for writing. Although Steinbeck’s first book was went largely unnoticed, as did his next two, it wasn’t until Tortilla Flat was published that Steinbeck was recognized as an author. Steinbeck had many accomplishments, however few can compare to In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes if Wrath. Each of these individual novels set out many achievements for Steinbeck. In Dubious Battle, written in 1936, was a strike novel set in the California apple country, a story of nine hundred migratory workers devoted to their cause. In Dubious Battle earned Steinbeck The Commonwealth Club of California gold metal for best novel by a Californian (Neary). In Dubious Battle was referred to as one of Steinbeck’s most powerful books. Joseph Millichap mentions Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle in his biography of Steinbeck, Millichap states, “Steinbeck is supremely interested in what happens to men’s minds and hearts when they function, not as responsible, self-governing individuals, but as members of a group. Steinbeck's bionomic interest is visible in all that he has done, In Dubious Battle was Steinbeck’s attempt to study a typical mid depression strike in bionomic terms.” With this attempt and interest in bionomics,...