Biography Of John Steinbeck

Biography Of John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968) was an American writer who was best famous for his novels that dealt with the social repercussions that resulted from the Great Depression in America. His most well-known works include Mice and Men (1937), The Grapes of Wrath (1939), and East of Eden (1952). The Nobel Prize was presented to him in 1962. Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

The writer is entrusted with the responsibility to proclaim and celebrate the man’s innate capacity to be great of spirit and heart — for gallantry even in defeat, for strength and compassion, as well as love. In the never-ending battle against despair and weakness, these are the vibrant flags of optimism and admiration.”
“Steinbeck, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” Address 1962


John Steinbeck’s Short Biography


John Steinbeck was born on 27th February 1902 in Salinas, California. His family were descendants of German immigrants and lived in a small rural town. Steinbeck had a comfortable but modest upbringing. In the summer, he spent his time working on the nearby ranches to help with the harvest and earn money. His work on the farms gave him an insight into the life of migrant workers, and his experiences would later provide material for his greatest works.

Steinbeck attended Salinas High School and after that, he attended Stanford University in Palo Alto. Although he stayed at Stanford for five years, the writer was without having any degree. The year 1925 was the time he quit school and set out to make himself a writer in New York. However, he failed to establish a successful career of his own and had to support himself with odd jobs. In 1928, depressed, Steinbeck returned to California where he was employed as the caretaker of Tahoe City. Even though he was working full-time by 1929, the writer managed to have his novel, Cup of Gold which was published.

But, after a few several years Steinbeck got some financial assistance from his father, which allowed him to quit his full-time job. Steinbeck was able to dedicate more time to writing at his father’s house situated in Pacific Grove, Monterey, California. He also got married to Carol Henning in 1930.

In 1935 the novel ” Tortilla Flat was released to acclaim from critics. The story was set in Monterey following World War One and portrays homeless, classless men who do not accept the social norms of society. The novel marked his debut success and provided him with the financial income and the confidence to continue writing more novels.


Biography Of John Steinbeck


The period was one of his most prolific writing periods. Particularly the short novel ‘ Of Mice and Men (1939)and the epic novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) earned him a reputation for being among the most renowned contemporary American writers.

The story of Mice as Wel Men was a brief story of two workers who were migrants, George Milton and the mentally impaired Lennie Small, who try to find work in the Great Depression. The Grapes of Wrath is deeper into the economic, social, and cultural consequences that came with The Great Depression. It is a story of the life of a poor family of farmers and their struggles in the Great Depression; it offers an understanding of the plight of migrant workers and critiques capitalism. The Grapes of Wrath became the top-selling book of 1939 and was the reason for Steinbeck’s receiving the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Both books portrayed the despair and personal costs that came with The Great Depression, and have been considered to be the most renowned literary report of the time. Along with the social consequences, Steinbeck also captured a powerful reference to a mystical aspect of American agricultural land. The devastation that was the Great Depression heightened the missed opportunities to realize the American aspirations of cultivating the best soils in the country.

Biography Of John Steinbeck


The subtle political commentary of Steinbeck was controversial as well. The novel, The Grapes of Wrath was deemed unsuitable by Kern County’s board of supervisors. Kern County Board of Supervisors in 1939 and 1941. Steinbeck was an active advocate of FDR’s Liberal New Deal and had close relationships with left-wing writers and unionists. He traveled in Vietnam and wrote extensively in favor of the war. This was viewed by many as a sign that he would undermine his liberal beliefs. Steinbeck was a victim of government harassment due to his political beliefs and claimed that J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI was adamant about tax authorities berating him.

He divorced 1942 his first wife and got married again, Gwendolyn Conger. They had one child, John Steinbeck IV. During the Second World War, Steinbeck wrote a novel influenced in by the spirit of rebellion against German occupation called the novel The Moon is Down (1942). Steinbeck also worked as a war reporter; his assignments included the Mediterranean as well as North Africa. In the year 1944 was the time he was injured by a munitions blast and then returned home.

Following his return from war traveled to his home country the Soviet Union with renowned photographer, Robert Capa. He wrote about his experiences in his book ” The Journal of a Russian Journal‘ it was a uniquely American perspective on post-revolutionary Russia.

The year 1948 was the time that Steinbeck suffered from depression following the death of his close friend Ed Ricketts died in a motor crash, and his second wife demanded divorce shortly following. Ricketts was the main influencer in the writing of Steinbeck during his most prolific period of the 1930s.

Steinbeck was married to a third woman in 1950. The year 1952 was the time he published his most famous work, East of Eden
And this is what I believe: that the unfettered, free mind of each human being is the most important thing in the world. This is what I will be fighting for the freedom that the human mind has to go in any direction it wants and to be free of any direction. That is why I would combat: any notion or belief system, whether religious or political, that restricts or harms the individual. This is me and what I stand for.”

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

The year was 1962 when he won 1962 the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was awarded to him in 1962. Nobel Committee cited his great work Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and a novel he wrote in the past ‘ The Winter of Our Discontent‘. Steinbeck was often quiet, pondering whether he was worthy of the award.

In 1962, he stopped to write more novels until his death in the year 1968.

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