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Essays on Of Mice and Men:
  • Critical evaluation
  • Themes of Friendship and Loneliness
  • Fate
  • Stereotypes and discrimination
  • The immoral nature of the human race
  • Cruelty
  • Migrant workers
  • The trials and tribulations for true friendship
  • George and Lennie's dream
  • Loneliness
  • Lennie's guilt
  • Foreshadowing
  • Friends
  • Loyalty

Essays on The Grapes of Wrath:

  • Structure
  • Biblical allusions
  • The Joads' Journey
  • The significance of the title

Essays on East of Eden
  • Literary appreciation
Essays on The Pearl
  • Literary appreciation

John Steinbeck was born on 27 February 1902 in Salinas, California, the third of four children. His first novel, Cup of Gold, was published in 1929. His early stories, set in the Californian valleys he knew so well, were published in 1932 under the title of The Pastures of Heaven. To a God Unknown and the first two parts of The Red Pony were published in 1933 and then his first great success, Tortilla Flat in 1935.In Dubious Battle appeared in 1936. Of Mice and Men was published in 1937. The rest of The Red Pony and The Long Valley appeared in 1938. In 1939 came the most ambitious venture yet, The Grapes of Wrath.

Meanwhile Tortilla Flat was filmed.Steinbeck was now something of a success with all the attendant perils accruing to his status such as autograph hunters, attacks from landowners who accused him of being a Communist and a liar as well as women claiming to be pregnant by him. Throughout all this he remained modest. In 1941 he set off on a marine biology trip and the fruits of the trip are to be found in The Log from the Sea of Cortez and The Pearl.

In 1942 he completed The Moon is Down and in 1943 went to Europe as war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. In the same year another of his great successes, Cannery Row was published. East of Eden came out in 1952 then Sweet Thursday and the Short Reign of Pippin IV. In 1957 he travelled to Italy and Once there was a War was published in 1958. He spent most of 1959 working on Morte D'Arthur. In 1960, he travelled throughout America collecting material for the book which was to be called Travels with Charley and in 1961 his last novel The Winter of Our Discontent was published. In 1962 Steinbeck was awarded the nobel prize for literature. He died in 1968.