Brief Biography of John Steinbeck Essay

Brief Biography of John Steinbeck Essay

Length: 3583 words (10.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Brief Biography of John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck lead a life filled with words, from his award winning novels to the hundreds letters he wrote to friends during his career. He was born in Salinas, California on February 27, 1902, and lived there for the first sixteen years of his life until he graduated from Salinas High School in 1918. He took classes at Stanford, but spent more of his college years working to pay tuition than then he spent in the classroom. 1924 brought his first publication, two short stories in the Standford Spectator, but in 1925 he left his schooling and went to New York for a time. By 1926, he was back in California and his first book, Cup of Gold, was published the year the of great stock market crash, but had little success. In 1930, he married Carol Henning, and the two lived in Pacific Grove, CA for the next several years. These years were lean; Steinbeck was having trouble selling his work, even with the help of his literary agents, McIntosh and Otis. Often, selling a short story for 50$ or so was the difference between eating or not.

In 1937, though, Steinbeck got his first taste of real success. Now living in Los Gatos, California, he had four novels and a play published in just three years. He burst onto the literary scene with Of Mice and Men, and published the first three parts of The Red Pony the same year. The play of Of Mice and Men went on stage and won the Drama Critics' Circle Award. The next year, he published The Long Valley and the last part of The Red Pony. His big project for the year, however, was working and researching a great novel, to be published in 1939 under the title The Grapes of Wrath. With this book, Steinbeck insured his future in the literary world. The book was so controversial that Steinbeck had to worry about attempts on his life or reputation; even now, it (along with Of Mice and Men) often are found on lists of commonly banned books. It was so well thought of that it earned him a Pulitzer Prize. It was so influential that President Franklin D. Roosevlet met with Steinbeck personally after a letter to the President from Steinbeck about the German influence in Mexico. Steinbeck had been in Mexico working on a film, and throughout the rest of his life, motion pictures were a second medium for him. The film of Of Mice and Men was released in 1939, and the film of The Grapes of Wrath came out ...


... middle of paper ...


... n7 p4(6).

Kelly, Dusty. "The Kurt Vonnegut Artificial Family Utopia." World Wide Web Page http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/5885/

Mack, Arien ed. Home: A Place in the World. New York: New York University Press, 1993.

Morrow, Jeff. Personal Interview. April 23, 1998.

Noble, Donald R. ed. The Steinbeck Question: New Essays in Criticism. Troy, New York, 1993.

Pipher, Mary. Reviving Ophelia. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.

Reed, Peter J. and Marc Leeds eds. The Vonnegut Chronicles: Interviews and Essays. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

Steinbeck, John. A Life in Letters. New York: Penguin Books, 1969.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books, 1930.

Swerdlow, Amy, et al. Families in Flux. New York: The Feminist Press,1989.

Timmerman, John H. John Steinbeck's Fiction: The Aesthetics of the Road Taken. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Slapstick. New York: Dell Publishing, 1976.

Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations, Third Edition. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1997.

Wyatt, David ed. New Essays on The Grapes of Wrath. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on John Ernst Steinbeck II: A Brief Biography

- ... He has written countless other novels, novellas and play writes. His last book he was able to write was "America and Americans" which was a photographic book about American life in 1966, included were essays written by himself at the time. John Steinbeck was married to Carroll Henning in 1930 and they were divorced in 1942, he then married his second wife, Gwyndolyn Conger in 1943 and they had two sons, Thomas Steinbeck and John Steinbeck IV, they were later divorced in 1948, and then he finally married his third wife, Elaine Anderson Scott in 1950 and was with her until his death in 1968....   [tags: notorious American writers]

Powerful Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Biography of John Steinbeck Essay

- John Ernst Steinbeck Jr is one of America’s greatest novelists. Steinbeck was born February 27th, 1902 and died of a heart attack on December 20th, 1968.(nobel page 1) He is the son of John Steinbeck and Olive Hamilton. Steinbeck wrote 27 books. Some of his best known work includes Of Mice and Men (1937), The Long Valley (1938), and East of Eden (1962). Since Steinbeck was raised and grew up in the early 1900’s, his novels were greatly influenced by the hard rural labor that many people worked in....   [tags: legacy, biography]

Powerful Essays
939 words (2.7 pages)

The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay example

- John Steinbeck, born as John Ernst Steinbeck on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, is one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century. He was born to John Ernst Steinbeck, Sr., a businessman, manager, and accountant, and Olive Hamilton, a former school teacher. Steinbeck grew up in Salinas Valley and became very appreciative of nature (American National Biography). Salinas was a very important place to Steinbeck as this is where he spent most of his time during the Depression’s darkest times, and many of his novels are set in Salinas....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression]

Powerful Essays
2279 words (6.5 pages)

John Steinbeck 's Life And Work Essay

- I. Introduction Oftentimes, the life of an author is reflected in his works. This is due to the fact that the experiences of the writer can serve as the foundation of his story line. Some of the famous authors who are known to have utilized this technique, which is also dubbed as Roman Clef, include Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Even in an unconscious manner, the author’s life is an inspiration to his writings and hence having a big impact on the entire work. In this light, this paper will be a discussion of the life and work of John Ernst Steinbeck, who is more popularly known as John Steinbeck....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Great Depression, Salinas]

Powerful Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay

- When times get tough, many people turn away from everyone and everything. It must be part of human nature to adopt an independent attitude when faced with troubles. It is understandable because most people do not want to trouble their loved ones when they are going through problems, so it is easier to turn away than stick together. Maybe their family is going through a rough patch and they reason they would be better off on their own. This path of independence and solitude may not always be the best option for them or their family, though....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
1845 words (5.3 pages)

Essay The Harvest Gypsies, by John Steinbeck

- A major drought, over-cultivation, and a country suffering from one of the greatest depressions in history are all it took to displace hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners and send them, and everything they had, out west. The Dust Bowl ruined crops all across the Great Plains region, crops that people depended on for survival. When no food could be grown and no money could be made, entire families, sometimes up to 8 people or more, packed up everything they had and began the journey to California, where it was rumored that jobs were in full supply....   [tags: John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Foreshadowing, By John Steinbeck

- Foreshadowing plays a part in many famous books, but John Steinbeck’s usage of foreshadowing surpasses most authors. For instance, Lennie’s death is foreshadowed early in the book. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to predict major events, but he also creates plot twists by using various types of foreshadowing and letting readers misinterpret the foreshadowing. There are several examples of foreshadowing that achieve the same result as Lennie’s death, but at the same time, foreshadowing may mislead people....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

- John Steinbeck's “Of mice and men” Of Mice and Men is set along the Salinas River a few miles south of Soledad in the fallen world of the Salinas Valley, which Steinbeck places "east of Eden" the Promised Land is only a painful and illusory dream. This land is populated by "sons of Cain", men doomed to walk alone. One of the major themes that comes from this is loneliness, or fear of apartness. One of the themes of Of Mice and Men is that men fear loneliness, that they need someone to be with and to talk to who will offer understanding and companionship....   [tags: John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men]

Powerful Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

The Pearl by John Steinbeck Essay

- The Pearl by John Steinbeck      The Pearl by John Steinbeck. This book takes place in Mexico during the nineteen hundreds in the city of La Paz.      The main characters are Kino an Indian pearl diver who finds the magnificent pearl and whose life is partially destroyed by this pearl. Juana is Kino's wife and faithful partner and she is obedient and devoted to her family. Coyotito is Kino and Juana's infant son he is bitten by a scorpion and recovers miraculously only to be later killed by a bullet....   [tags: The Pearl John Steinbeck]

Free Essays
418 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums

- John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums The short story “The Chrysanthemums,” by John Steinbeck, is a multi-layered work that contains various symbolic meanings, it is said to be “…one of the best things he ever did” (Parini 146). It has been hailed as a great short story not for the depiction of a cattleman and his wife, but for it’s symbolic meanings. Steinbeck was known for writing about his “…strong rebellion against any repressive power in civilization’s power bloc and his strong sensitivity toward any repressed individual” (Timmerman 177)....   [tags: John Steinbeck Chrysanthemums Papers]

Powerful Essays
1919 words (5.5 pages)