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Essay/Term paper: Johnsteinbeck

Essay, term paper, research paper:  High School Essays

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"John Steinbeck"

John Steinbeck is one of many American literature writers, but he is one of a kind in his work. Steinbeck went through many troubles to get his work where it is now. What would you do if publishers rejected your whole short story collection? Many people would quit right there, but now john Steinbeck. He moved past that and wrote many successful collections and books.

John Steinbeck was born February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. When he started out, he attended Salinas High School, followed by Stanford University. Throughout his life he moved to New York in New York City. After a short time there he moved back to California after his short story collection was rejected by the publisher in New York. He then received a job at a remote Lake Tahoe resort. In 1930, he married the first of his three wives, Carol Henning, and moved to Pacific Grove, California. In 1943, married Gwen Longer and had two kids. In 1929, he met Ed Ricketts, who would turn out to be his best friends. Ed died in 1948, which left Steinbeck very upset and lost. Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968 in New York City. Of his accomplishments, he received a Book of the Month selection for Of Mice and Men. He also received a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968. Some of his work is now in San Jose State University.

The first story that I read was Steinbeck"s "The Turtle." In this story, a turtle starts off trying to make his way up onto a highway, in doing this he realizes he is not big enough to climb up onto it. He eventually uses all the strength in him and makes it up onto it. Once on there a big truck comes and runs the turtle off the highway. This forces the turtle to start the whole process once again.

The next story is "The Flood." In this story, it starts off in a nice little town where not much happens. After awhile, a storm starts in and begins to take out this town. The town eventually gets flooded badly, leaving many dead and injured. Once the storm ends, the once nice town is left in a wreck.

The final story would be Steinbecks " The Pearl of La Paz." In this story, a man comes into the worn of La Paz with a so called magic pearl that would let him do anything that he wanted. Once he is there he tries to sell it, but he can"t get a price that he wants. So he decided to keep it, but he gets beat up because that people of the town want it. He then throws the pearl deep into the gulf so no one will ever find it again.

There are several similarities among the three stories. The first between the three would be a man vs. man conflict. In "The Turtle," the turtle has a conflict with the truck driver, " And now a light truck approached, and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it."("The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 425) In "The Flood" the conflict was between the people of the town and the storm. "And old people curled up in corner and died that way, so that coroners could not straighten them."(" The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 475) The conflict in "The Pearl of La Paz" was between the man and the pearl. "In his one pearl, he had the ability to be drunk as long as he wished, to marry anyone of a number of girls, and to make many more a little happier, too." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 495) The second comparison between Steinbecks stories would be how all the characters have a bad experience. In " The Turtle" the turtle gets hit by a truck and knocked off the highway. "His front wheel struck the edge of the shell, flipped the turtle like a tiddly wink, spun it like a coch, and rolled it off the highway." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 425) In "The Flood" the experience is how no one could get help they needed. "Frantic men pounded the doors of the doctors, and the doctors were too busy. And sad man left word at the county stores for the coroner to send a car." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 477) the experience in "The Pearl of La Paz" was when the man gets jumped for his pearl. " The next night he slept at the house of a friend and his friends and he were injured and bound and the house searched." The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 496)

The final comparison between the three stories of Steinbeck is how all the characters try hard to get something they want. In "The Turtle" the turtle used all of his strength to get onto the highway. "The back kegs went to work, straining like elephants legs, and the shell tipped to an angle so that they could reach the cement." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 425) In "The Flood" the storm came into the town and tried to destroy everything in it. "The storm came in and tried to destroy the path of the town." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 478) Finally, in "The Pearl of La Paz" the man tries to get all the things back to the way they use to be with him before he got the pearl. " He then threw the pearl far into the gulf, so that he would be free again." (The Portable Steinbeck", pg. 501)

In all of Steinbecks work, he uses many similarities between his stories, that is a trend of Steinbecks work. He is now considered to be one of the greatest short story writers in American Literature.


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