Steinbeck, His Critics, And Of Mice And Men Essay, Research Paper

More a Mouse Than a Man

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& # 8220 ; If an writer does non hold at least one great popular success, he or she may good be ignored by the media, but if he or she is invariably popular, so the critics become leery of the author & # 8217 ; s serious purposes & # 8221 ; ( Benson Introduction ) . What do critics from the literary universe have to state about Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s Hagiographas? Critics have much to state, both positive and negative. What link exists between Steinbeck and his Hagiographas? Possibly the most notable biographical nexus between Steinbeck and his Hagiographas is that he was born and came to adulthood in the Salinas Valley. In this country of California, bounded on the North and South by the Pajaro and Jolon vales on the West and east by the Pacific Ocean and the Gabilan Mountains, Steinbeck found the stuffs for his fiction ( Tedlock 3 ) . John Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s agricultural upbringing in the California country vibrantly shines through in the scenes and narrative lines of the bulk of his plants.

John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. His male parent & # 8217 ; s household, originally called Grossteinbeck, had come from Wuppertal, about 20 stat mis east of the German metropolis of D sseldorf. During summers he worked as a hired manus on nearby spreads, & # 8220 ; nurturing & # 8221 ; his feeling of the California countryside and its people ( Lisca 32 ) . He made occasional exciting trips to San Francisco with his household and more frequent trips to the Monterey peninsula ( Fontenrose 2 ) . In 1918, he became sick with pneumonia and about died, but he was able to retrieve. After graduating from Salinas High School in 1919, Steinbeck enrolled at Stanford University, taking classs in English and Marine Science ( Bloom 11 ) . He was ever an first-class pupil, eager to larn both in and out of school, interested in books, music, scientific discipline, faith, and athleticss ( Fontenrose 3 ) . During this clip, he worked as a gross revenues clerk, farm labourer, ranch manus, and mill worker, and left Stanford for good in the autumn of 1925 without a grade ( Fontenrose 3 ) .

In New York City, his brother-in-law found him a occupation forcing garden carts for the building of the original Madison Square Garden while go oning his chase as a author ( Lisca 32 ) . After giving freelancer composing a attempt, he returned to California in 1926 ( Fontenrose 3 ) . For the following three old ages, periods of impermanent employment alternated with periods devoted wholly to authorship ; and he moved from topographic point to topographic point, to San Francisco, Monterey, Salinas, Lake Tahoe, composing novels and narratives that no publishing house would purchase ( Fontenrose 4 ) .

On January 14, 1930, Steinbeck married his first married woman, Carol Henning ( Fontenrose 4 ) . As a gift, his male parent gave him a house in Pacific Grove, California. Later that twelvemonth, Steinbeck met Edward Ricketts, proprietor and operator of a little commercial biological research lab on the waterfront of Monterey. Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s association with Ricketts stimulated & # 8220 ; the best period of his calling & # 8221 ; ( Fontenrose 4 ) . Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s 2nd matrimony began on March 29, 1943, when he married Gwyndolen Conger. Soon after, he became a war letter writer for the New York Herald Tribune. In 1944, his first boy, Tom, was born. His 2nd boy, John IV, followed two old ages subsequently. In December of 1948, Steinbeck was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

On December 28, 1950, Steinbeck married his 3rd married woman, Elaine Anderson Scott. On October 25, 1962, Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. On September 14, 1964, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His support of the Vietnam War in his concluding old ages came as a daze to some ( Bloom 14 ) . Throughout his life, John Steinbeck remained a private individual who shunned promotion ( Bloom 15 ) . In 1968 he suffered several bosom onslaughts while summering in Sag Harbor. He died on December 20, 1968 of arterial sclerosis in New York City. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas ( Bloom 15 ) .

John Steinbeck has published eight volumes of fiction, each as different from the others as all are different from the Hagiographas of most novelists. He has employed a assortment of techniques to depict an mixture of characters His readers have come to anticipate the unexpected ; his critics have taken safety in enthusiasm or desperation. But beneath this evident assortment, Steinbeck has been amazingly consistent. A individual intent has directed his experimentation, a individual thought has guided his literary idea. Always his fiction has described the interplay of dream and world ; his idea has followed the development of the American dream. ( Tedlock 68 )

In John Steinbeck: Journeyman Artist, Joseph Warren Beach, like other critics, notes the versatility of Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s endowments. He is non disturbed to happen Steinbeck something more than an & # 8220 ; nonsubjective realist & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock 19 ) . And Steinbecks & # 8217 ; manner suggests to him no & # 8220 ; dulcet equivocation & # 8221 ; of duty, as at least one critics has thought, but is & # 8220 ; singular for its feeling for beat and right English parlance & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock 19 ) . Altogether Beach & # 8217 ; s method is to compare Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s features with a wide scope of literary achievements, instead than to judge the & # 8220 ; rightness of his place sing modern-day urgencies and contentions & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock 20 ) .

In George Snell & # 8217 ; s chapter on Steinbeck in The Makers of American Fiction: 1798-1947, he notes Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s strengths and failings: & # 8220 ; an tremendous gift of story-telling & # 8221 ; , & # 8220 ; Catholicism of understanding & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; & # 8216 ; common touch, & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; easiness of character creative activity through & # 8220 ; types & # 8221 ; instead than & # 8220 ; persons, & # 8221 ; & # 8220 ; love of hyperbole and a resulting wit, & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; a basic sentimentalism & # 8221 ; which consequences in his & # 8220 ; gravest failing & # 8221 ; ( Gallic 56 ) . Like Beach, Snell is positive about the early books. Particularly ague is his noting that it was clear from the first that Steinbeck would ne’er be & # 8220 ; a literary naturalist & # 8221 ; despite his involvement in biological science ( Gallic 57 ) . In 1947, Snell thought Steinbeck still gave promise of being the & # 8220 ; most talented all-round novelist & # 8221 ; ( Gallic 57 ) .

Lincoln Gibbs & # 8217 ; & # 8220 ; John Steinbeck: Moralist & # 8221 ; is one of the few essays to manage the inquiry of the morality of Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s fiction without uncovering that the critic has some & # 8220 ; institutional axe to crunch & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock 22 ) . Gibbs is one of the first Steinbeck critics to reason that & # 8220 ; successful version to environment is non plenty for human existences & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock 22 ) . Gibbs & # 8217 ; scruples about the scope of Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s doctrine are & # 8220 ; loosely re

presentative of the least prejudiced and least condemnatory” of the critics who portion them ( Tedlock 22 ) . Writes Gibbs, “Steinbeck’s repugnance against primness and lip service carries him to violent extremes” ( Tedlock 22 ) . Gibbs concludes that Steinbeck’s “human sympathies” and “artist’s perception” are different from and superior to his “philosophic confusion” ( Tedlock 22 ) . His “humanistic conclusion” is that Steinbeck’s Hagiographas extends one’s cognition of work forces beyond the “expedient range” of experience and makes for “a Fuller realisation of democracy” ( Tedlock 22 ) .

Steinbeck has non fared good in the custodies of historiographers of modern-day literature ( Telock Introduction XXXIX ) . Writes Frederick J. Hoffman in The Modern Novel in America: 1900-1950, & # 8220 ; His involvement in biological science is a beginning of confusion in his reading of the human scene & # 8221 ; ( Tedlock Introduction XXXIX ) .

He is unable to give us a convincing definition of his people because, holding one time reduced the graduated table of definition to their carnal nature, he has later shifted his land of reading and with a despairing seriousness grasped at the most superficial but convenient conceptional scheme available to him in the 1930s. ( Tedlock Introduction XXXIX )

One novel of John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, takes topographic point in the Salinas Valley of California. The play is centered around two itinerant farm workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, with a dream of someday having a topographic point of their ain. Lennie Small is a simple-minded, slow moving, amorphous giant with pale eyes whose tremendous physical strength frequently causes him to acquire into problem. George Milton on the other manus is little in stature, clever, dark of face and eyes, and acts as Lennie & # 8217 ; s guardian and quieting force.

Early on in the narrative the chance of their of all time recognizing their dream seems distant, but as the secret plan unfolds ( they meet a crippled bunkhouse worker who wants to travel in with them on the strategy, and who offers offer to bit in his life nest eggs ) , the chance of fulfillment rises. If the three pool their wages at the terminal of the current month, they can discontinue and travel into their farm. Lennie manages to avoid catastrophe for precisely three yearss. He gets involved with the coquettish married woman of Curley, the foreman & # 8217 ; violent boy. Through a series of unfortunate events, he becomes scared and unwittingly kills the miss. Curley organizes a group to grok Lennie. George gets to Lennie foremost and out of understanding for his comrade, shoots him in the caput to save him the hurting of Curley & # 8217 ; s scattergun or the wretchedness of captivity.

Lennie & # 8217 ; s killing of mice and subsequently his violent death of the puppy sets up a form that the reader expects to be followed. George & # 8217 ; s narrative about Lennie and the small miss with the ruddy frock, which he tells twice, adds to this anticipation, as do the shot of Candy & # 8217 ; s Canis familiaris, the suppression of Curley & # 8217 ; s manus, and the frequent visual aspects of Curley & # 8217 ; s married woman. All these incidents predict the destiny of the dream of a safe topographic point. The program is doomed virtually from the get downing non merely because human family can non last, but besides because the image of the farm, as conceived by George, Lennie, and Candy, is excessively idealized. The chance being that life, even if they obtained the farm, would non be as they envision. The fruits and veggies in copiousness, the farm animal and domestic animate beings, and the community of people involved are unreasonable outlooks.

The greater portion of the novel & # 8217 ; s entreaty, George and Lennie & # 8217 ; s relationship, although far from what one could name a mutual friendly relationship, intrigues the reader in the same manner many amusing couple machination. It is easy to place with the & # 8220 ; smart cat & # 8221 ; who impotently tries to get by with and command his irrational, dense and, yet, self-generated, child-like spouse as they lurch from one self-inflicted crisis to another. Steinbeck uses that authoritative amusing modus operandi so that the reader warmly identifies and recognizes the relationship. Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s storyteller establishes and characterizes George & # 8217 ; s lording of power and control over Lennie early in the first chapter:

George & # 8217 ; s manus remained outstretched imperiously. Slowly, like a terrier who doesn & # 8217 ; t want to convey a ball to its maestro, Lennie approached, drew back, approached once more. George snapped his fingers aggressively, and at the sound Lennie laid the mouse in his manus ( 9 ) .

Unlike the typical Disney stoping, Steinbeck delivers a harsh, but awaited decision. However, Steinbeck is non seeking to connote that hope is futile. Although hope does non predominate at the terminal of this novel, throughout the organic structure, it plays a critical factor. Hope improved the quality of life for George and Lennie, and it gave them a end to endeavor for. Without hope, Of Mice and Men would hold lacked deepness. One can non assist but experience commiseration for Lennie, because of the dreams that lay in the ruins of his actions. Throughout reading this book, one is invariably bombarded with feelings of hope. In this narrative hope is an aspect bureid inside every event and played a heavy function in the lives of the characters.

Steinbeck employed a symplistic authorship manner in order for his plants to be understood by the mundane individual. His vocabulary and sentence constructions are effectual, yet straightforward. The duologue he chose to utilize aided in capturing the reader & # 8217 ; s attending and involvement.

The analogues that exist between Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s plants and his upbringing are undeniable. Of Mice and Men is a typical Steinbeck novel in footings of simpleness, narrative line, and puting. Steinbeck transplants the cognition he gained and the images he conceived of California in his Hagiographas.

Plants Cited

Benson, Jackson J. The Short Novels of John Steinbeck. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1990.

Bloom, Harold. John Steinbeck. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.

Davis, Robert Murray. Steinbeck: A Collection of Critical Essays. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1972.

Fontenrose, Joseph. John Steinbeck: An Introduction and Interpretation. New York: Barnes & A ; Noble, 1964.

Gallic, Warren. John Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s Fiction Revisited. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994.

Lisca, Peter. The Wide World of John Steinbeck. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1958.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Books USA Incorporated, 1978.

Tedlock, E.W. Steinbeck and His Critics. Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1957.

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