John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California (Winters). After he graduated from high school, he enrolled at Stanford University, but was never able to complete his degree so in 1925, he moved to New York City looking for work (Winters). He eventually grew tired of New York and moved back to California to become a writer (Winters). He struggled to publish his novels in the beginning of his writing career, and his first published novels were unable to turn a major profit due to the financial insecurities of his publishers (Winters). It wasn’t until the late 1930’s that he gained a reputation as a writer after writing Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath (Winters). For his book, The Grapes of Wrath, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 (Winters).
When World II started, John Steinbeck initially tried to join the army, but he was unable to do so because he was accused of being a Communist; the rumors of Steinbeck being a communist stemmed from his work, The Grapes of Wrath, where big business is seen as an evil force (Winters). Unable to join the army to fight for his country, he resorted to writing propaganda pieces for the American government (Winters).
In 1945, he decided to move again to New York City (Winters). However, ...
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...ancing at one of the camps. Yet no matter how he writes, he successfully manages to get the main idea across to the readers.
One of the most prominent features I thought was the use of symbolism. John Steinbeck expertly crafted symbols out of objects that at first glance have no significant meaning such as the turtle crossing the road or Granpa Joad and Granma Joad passing away after leaving their home. These symbols varied widely, ranging from a single paragraph or an entire chapter or even the entire book. By the end of the story, the entire Joad family has been reduced to nothing but symbols, and yet this only highlights the message and theme of the book. It is for this reason that Steinbeck’s book is in fact seen as a symbol of the era itself, and why it will always be regarded as one of the most important books describing a turbulent time in American history.
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