It was probably the author’s connectedness with average working common people that sooner or later gave him literary success, even though his premier three books were not a real success. (Pastures of Heaven, Cup of Gold and To A God Unknown). Receiving a measure of acclamation for ‘Tortilla Flat’, he carried on to grow his continual message of social unfairness, penning ‘In Dubious Battle’ in nineteen thirty six.
‘Of Mice and Men’, the story of two migrant peasant workers was warmly received, and his following book ‘Grapes of Wrath’ was the greatest success of all John Steinbeck books and won him the Pulitzer Prize and also the National Book Award. Although always making a social comment, John Steinbeck books drew on the vibrant humor evident in the tough lives of itinerant farm laborers, and particularly immigrants.
In subsequent years, Steinbeck’s novels were much less cutting, and really didn’t contain the cutting observation concerning the wealthy classes and their exploitation of the working classes. The name of one of Steinbeck’s most celebrated novels is derived from the poem about a mouse penned by Robert Burns, a poet from Scotland. Broadly translated (the old poem was created in ancient Scots language) – it goes ” the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”. The main message of Of Mice and Men shows touchingly how we endeavor for a dream, reach for an ideal and frequently the outcome is really different, leaving us forlorn.
John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men
The two principal characters, and buddies of undetermined term, are named George and Lennie and their goal is to work enough, salt away a pot of money so that they might live a good life in a far off place. Lennie is a big colossus of a man with ponderous thoughts, while Lennie is skinny and quick thinking. George takes care of Lenny and keeps him from getting into trouble as the twosome move around the country, finding jobs where they can, and thieving a bit when there is no work.
The life carries on until they go to work at a ranch which has a rancher’s son with a nasty streak, who also has a beautiful wife who is bored with life on the ranch. It surfaces that Lennie has secrets in the past …
Grapes of Wrath
Not many books have gripped the consciousness of the mass of American people like John Steinbeck’s great novel, Grapes of Wrath. Differences between the haves and the have-nots in society have always been with us, but the Great Depression made it more evident – it brought it home. In the setting of the share cropping crisis of the 1930s, a time of devastating drought and extreme poverty drove a family from their home to seek the good life in California – Grapes Of Wrath is the story of Tom Joad and his family searching for an honest living in California during the depression.