John Steinbeck Biography
Katlin Wilson A. P. Literature Essay A. John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. The region of Salinas later became the setting of many of his stories, including Of Mice and Men. When he was a teenager he spent many summers workings as a ranch-hand on neighboring ranches. He went to Stanford University in 1919 and left without earning his degree. He later finished his first novel, Cup of Gold which was an adventurous story that was published in 1926. Success came to Steinbeck when he wrote his novel Tortilla Flat which was published in 1935.
Most of Steinbeck’s work deals with the journey of the desperately poor California wanders. He wrote three more novels that dealt with the California wanders, Dubious Battle in 1936, Of Mice and Men in 1937, and The Grapes of Wrath in 1940. The Grapes of Wrath became one of his more famous novels and won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize. Opinions about Steinbeck’s work have always been mixed. It was thought by many that Of Mice and Men was his greatest work, but many critics begged to differ. He continued writing in the 1940s and 1950s. He later won the Noble Prize for literature in 1962.
He died in 1968 in New York City. In his novel Of Mice and Men he wrote about ranch-hands and migrant famer in California during the Great Depression. Also in the novel he writes about the grueling challenges that go with being a migrant farmer. A migrant farmer is someone who migrates within a country in order to pursue work suck as seasonal work. Many farmers dreamed of finding a better life in California, just like Lennie and George did in the novel. After World War I a recession led to the drop in the market price of farm crops. The stock market crash of 1929 made things for farmers even worse.
Farmers were forced to make more crops to earn the same amount of money. In the early 20th century new machinery was invented which led to new mass-production farming methods. The increased farming in the Great Plains caused all the soil to erode. The erosion along with a seven year drought led to the Great Plains becoming a desert region, which was also known as the Dust Bowl. Many families packed up their things and headed to California. Migrant workers were known as Okies. Large farms were built in California, because of the pleasant climate where they could grows many different crops.