KadinHallMrs.SayreEnglish99December 2017 John Steinbeck John Steinbeck was a very famousauthor in the 1930’s until the time of his death in the late 1960’s. He has received many awards for several of hismost popular books. Steinbeck has had multipleaccomplishments in his long writing career and many of his works are consideredclassics. Also, John Steinbeck hasaffected a lot of people with his writings.
Nobel Peace winning author, John Steinbeck, has thrilled millions foryears with his award-winning novels. John Steinbeck was born on February27,1902, in Salinas, California. He wasan only child and grew up in a hardworking family. His father was an accountant and Steinbeckreceived his love of literature from his mother, who was a teacher (Steinbeck). He was a shy child and decided to becomea writer at the age of fourteen (Steinbeck).
Most of Steinbeck’s books are set in andaround his birthplace in Salinas, California. He also enjoyed sports and he worked onranches during the summer. He beganattending Stanford University in 1918 after graduating from Salinas High School. In 1925, after attending college for sixyears, he dropped out of Stanford, without a degree, to pursue a free-lancewriting career in New York City. Hesupported himself as a laborer and a journalist during this time. However, he failed as a free-lance writer andreturned to California. In 1929, he met and married his first wife, CarolHenning.
Henning supported him with herpaycheck and she corrected many of his manuscripts and mailed them topublishers in New York (Steinbeck). Steinbeck’sfather also provided a small monthly allowance to the couple. In 1934, Steinbeck’s mother, Olivia, passedaway. The following year, his father, JohnSteinbeck, Sr.
passed away. In 1941, Steinbeckseparated from his first wife Carol and moved to New York with Gwendolyn Conger. He later married Gwendolyn Conger afterdivorcing Carol in 1943. In August of1944, Steinbeck’s first child, Thomas Steinbeck, was born. In June of 1946, Steinbeck’s second child,John Steinbeck IV, was born. Gwendolynand Steinbeck divorced in 1948. It wasin 1950 that Steinbeck married his third and last wife, Elaine Scott.
Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in1962 (Steinbeck). On December 20, 1968,John Steinbeck passed away at his home in New York City of heart disease andcongestive heart failure. He was sixty-sixyears old and was an avid smoker most of his life (Kiernan). He spent most of his time with his third wife,Elaine, before he died.
Steinbeck’sashes were buried in Salinas, California (Steinbeck). A major culture movement was women’srights in the 1920’s. The first versionof an Equal Rights Amendment was introduced. It says, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United Satesand every place subject to its jurisdiction” (Kiernan). Womenwere still living in a mostly male dominated society in 1938 (Kiernan). Manyof these themes can be seen throughout John Steinbeck’s writing, “TheChrysanthemums” in the main character, Elisa Allen (Kiernan). Also, in the 1930’s, John Steinbeck served asa war a correspondent for the New York HeraldTribune during WWII. He coveredassignments concerning WWII in London, Europe, and North Africa.
In later years, Steinbeck loved totravel. He spent the last years of hislife traveling with his wife. He wrote abook, Travels with Charley, which details the cross country travels heundertook with his pet poodle, Charley.
“I was born lost and take no pleasurein being found” is a quote from the novel (Steinbeck, John). In1962, he traveled through forty different states in three months (Steinbeck). He traveled over 10,000 miles (Steinbeck).It was in 1929, Steinbeck had hisfirst novel published, Cup of Gold. It was a book based on the life of Sir HenryMorgan, a famous English pirate.
Steinbeck’snovel, The Pastures of Heaven, was published in 1932 which was a novel thathad twelve stories about a valley near Monterey. In 1934, Steinbeck won the O. Henry prize forhis short story, The Murderer. In1935, Steinbeck won the California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal for the novelTortilla Flat. Of Mice and Men,a very popular work of Steinbeck’s is a novel telling the story of two migrantranch workers during the Great Depression. This novel won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in1939 (Ito). It was also developed to bea play. Also, in 1939, he published the Grapesof Wrath, which is considered to be his greatest work (Kiernan).
It sold over 10,000 copies per week. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940and was adapted as a film. In the 1930’s,Ed Ricketts strongly influenced Steinbeck’s writing (Kiernan). Ricketts was hisclose friend. John wrote his longestnovel, East of Eden, in 1952 and Elaine, his third wife, considered itto be his best novel (Ito). This novelwas about the Trask family’s battles with good and evil.
He considered it to be his masterpiece(Ito). In his Nobel Prize acceptancespeech, Steinbeck stated, “The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrateman’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit” (Ito). This was how he described his writing.
In 1961, Steinbeck had his final novel, TheWinter of Our Discontent, published. NobelPeace winning author, John Steinbeck, has thrilled millions for years with hisaward-winning novels. He influenced millions of people with his writing. He was an amazing author who had a long career.
John Steinbeck still influences people today even after his death. His novels remain popular both in the UnitedStates and Europe.Works Citied Ito,Tom. The Importance of John Steinbeck. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1994. “John Steinbeck.” The World Book Encyclopedia.
V.18, Chicago: World Book, Inc., 2003. Kiernan, Thomas. The Intricate Music. A Biography of John Steinbeck.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1975. Steinbeck,John. Travels with Charley in Searchof America. New York: Penguin Group, 1962.