Homework Help

what are the common themes used in john steinbeck's novels?need themes lik a...

user profile pic

gowrirajendran | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 31, 2011 at 5:55 AM via web

dislike 0 like

what are the common themes used in john steinbeck's novels?

need themes lik a topic/title to select for thesis. thank U All

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:17 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

John Steinbeck was a fairly focused writer in terms of the themes he explored.

In his books To a God Unknown and East of Eden Steinbeck takes up the themes of identity through land ownership as part of the American vision of fulfilling a destiny. In both these works, there are sub-themes dealing with the indifference of nature to man and man's attempts to innovate as a compromise with nature. Each of these novels also presents a character who can be said to express a thematic idea of happiness-by-denial, where a man insists upon maintaining a positive outlook despite many depressing circumstances. Some of these themes can also be found in The Pearl.

In Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck explores various themes focused on friendship and the moral compromises friendship can create.

Political themes of disenfranchisement, rebellion, and integrity vs. corruption are explored in Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl and The Moon Is Down.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes