June 17, 2011
John Steinbeck (1902-1968), born in Salinas, California, came from a family of moderate means. He worked his way through college at Stanford University but never graduated. In 1925 he went to New York, where he tried for a few years to establish himself as a free-lance writer, but he failed and returned to California (Nobelprize.org, 2011). Steinbeck did not have success with his early writings. Tortilla Flat a humorous story about Monterey Paisanos published in 1935 became his first well-known piece of work. Early Influences
As a boy growing up Steinbeck was inspired to be a writer by his mother. Steinbeck’s mother loved books and literature; she was a teacher and his earliest influence into writing. As Steinbeck got older he often cited Charles Darwin as the main influence in his career. Charles Darwin intrigued Steinbeck; Steinbeck was amazed in the realism and naturalism of Darwin’s work. Steinbeck’s creativity primarily sparked by nature. He was very aware of his surroundings and many of the events of his life as well as social situations contributed to setting and plots for his novel. Most of his books took place during the period of the great depression. Artistic achievement
Steinbeck liked to incorporate area surroundings into his writing. He often experimented with different styles of writing, like a play in novel format. He also used fabular, picaresque, and documentary styles as well. Steinbeck often wrote about poor people and how their lives were changed by their circumstances and used the layout of the land as an artistic style as well. His talents as a storyteller were unsurpassed. His engagement with the vital social issues of his day was worthy of the highest traditions of journalism. He forged a muscular, plain prose style of immense emotional range. And in his major work, he created an enduring testament to society's downtrodden, simple men and...