Who was a John Steinbeck?
John Steinbeck is a novelist that was born in California in 1902. Steinbeck’s first three novels were failures but he didn’t stop and his later books got noticed and increased his fame a little. He soon turned into a great American author, winning the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature. To be able to win the Nobel Prize John Steinbeck used lots of Realism in his books especially in “Of Mice and Men”. Alongside that Steinbeck uses symbolism to imbue a hidden meanings in his books. The final part that added to Steinbeck’s nooks was how detailed he got with describing the characters, settings, and what was happening at the moment. John Steinbeck is one of the greatest American authors. This shows you how Steinbeck uses literary tools in all his books and how it made him one of the greatest. Steinbeck was apart of a communist group
One of Steinbeck’s realistic books is the pearl. He shows us a situation where there is inequality and no justice for the Indians unless they are willing to pay. Steinbeck uses this situation to point out human’s greed. It shows how others are unpredictable and that everyone is not your friend no matter how close you are. He also used symbolism to put meanings behind the pearl and other items or occurrences in the book. “The Pearl symbolized selfishness because once people knew about it they tried to steal it for their own good” (Bloom Harold). John Steinbeck’s character realism creates the atmosphere for most of his books as he puts his characters into harsh conditions or shows the hardships the characters had. Like in “Of Mice and Men” “shows the black community during the time of the depression in the 1930’s” (Bloom Harold). These are the reasons that he was thought of as one of the greats even though all of his books were not a successs. Other forms of symbolism used to boost the meaning in the pearl is the song of evil, it symbolized that danger was around or something bad was going to happen. The final symbol used also was a moral hidden within, as Kino keeps the pearl he loses precious things and when he finally lets go its too late. This underlying text says are you willing to lose what is precious to you for a cause. It is also character realism as you see Steinbeck slowly changes how the charactersw react and act while the story goes on. Realistic reactions make the reader indulge into a certain character and that is what Steinbeck does to keep the readers interest. While along with all of this Steinbeck creates situations that you can relate to or what could possibly happen in real life.
How it works
Another one of Steinbecks book that used a lot of litereary tools is “Of Mice and Men” When you read this Steinbeck uses symbolism to compare meager things to humans or feelings. One of the symols is that “Candys dog represents the fate of those who are weak”, seeing as they kill him off after he is to old and of no use. Another huge symbolism is “The farm represents unattainabke independence and protection” (Magill N. Frank) (ED), or as you could say false hope these underlying meaning forces the reader to be engaged and watch for underlying reasons. Also using naturalism he shows “common people facing problems in a life like setting” (Magill N. Frank), it shows that as long as Lennie is the strongest he will keep hurting those that are weaker than him unintentionally. Then that causes the weak to gather and hunt Lennie which creates a situation that most can relate to the strong vs. the weak. The characterization in this book “creates a greater sense of understanding torward the characters situation. Some critics frown upon Steinbeck because sometimes his decription is to vaque than accurate. Steinbeck slowly gets you use to Lennie and makes you wonder why George doesn’t leave him after his first couple of accidents. This makes the reader warm up to George and understand the way he acts torward Lennie.
Steinbeck’s book “Grapes of Wrath” one of his best books in which bhe uses all of his litereay tools has a unique style. Steincecks writing style in this book is very disciptive. He uses lots of repitition like “listen to the wheels, listen with your ears,and listen to your hands on the wheel”(John Steinbeck), he uses it to induce the “stream like” flow. Steinbeck also uses similes to compare a turtle to a coin the way it was spinning. With this writing style he decribes the joads so much that you know where everything is. Animals are used to symbolize the situation. The joads turning into migrants is symbolized by the old house cat that turned wild and had to survive on it’s own. Imagery is used when the land owner descibes the bank as a monster taking away homes. Another piece of imagery is when Rose breast feeds a man right after giving birth to a still born child. The realism comes from the journey and the settings characterized by “power, starvation, death, and suffering”. The symbolism started when the joads dog was killed which Steinbeck used to foreshadow the challenges they will face. The bugs symbolize “the biblical innotacion, Man’s violence towards bugs mirrors the land owners treatment of farmers”(Walton Beachham). The final symbol is that the sun symbolizes life and death.
“The Moon is Down” got mixed feeling from the critics.”they found fault in Steinbeck’sphycological treatment of Invaders and also suggested that Steinbeck’s book was to light weight for propaganda” They wanted a big story that would get others riled up and pushing them to give support to their causes.. Dramatic irony is used like when Molly was going to kill the lieutenant Tonder and he does not even know her intention’s. Another use of dramatic irony is when blue parachutes come down and he soldiers are scared to open hen but the villagers know that weapons are in the crate. The final situation is when the soldiers believe killing the mayor will make he villagers stop but they do not know the villagers are already acting out their plan”(GoodReads.com). The symbols John Steinbeck uses is that the winter is comforting for the villagers and a place for all their secrets. The mine symbolizes a way to rebel which is a way to get the soldiers to leave. The dynamite symbolizes hope and a chance of rebellion. Flies on flypaper symbolize the feelings of the soldiers forced into war. The mayor’schain of office represents he safety and security of the villagers. And the last symbolization is that Colonel Langer’s staff symbolizes the compacity of humans. All these similes add up to you seeing the villagers want to do whatever it takes to get rid of the soldiers from their cold home.
“East of Eden” what Steinbeck calls his best book is the second most know of all his books. Steinbeck uses rhetorical strategies in this book as he said he puts his all into this one. Steinbeck uses similes to narrow down his descriptions and details of what happened letting you imagine it clearly in your head.one of the similes is “there is blackness on this valley, sometimes on white blinding days I can feel it cutting off the sun and squeezing the light of it like a sponge”. He also uses metaphors, which he gets applauded for by critics like ” and while I tell you, I am myself sifting my memories,the way men pan the dirt under a barroom floor for bits of gold. This simile creates a clear picture in your head having you understand what he is doing. As stated earlier in “East of Eden” one of Steinbeck’smost ambitious work compares “the characters to his family and his unsatisfying life” (Wilson Austin).he obtained various reviews for his broad description of evil which affected the characters using metaphors like when he compares Cain and Abel to Adam and Eve. The realism in this book goes into John Steinbeck’schildhood using his memory of Salinas. “Critics believed that Steinbeck’s potrait of the human struggle between good and evil was painted so broadly that it took away from the detail and credibility of his characters (Hwaiha Abubaker). Even though Steinbeck used literary tools some things are still unexplained or poorly placed in which the critics poke at it like vultures.