John Steinbeck Questions and Answers

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What did John Steinbeck contribute to literature?

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Steinbeck made many contributions to American literature. Having grown up in the American West, he was familiar with its landscape and its people. Many of his books, such as Of Mice and Men, contain vivid descriptions of the land in the American West. These descriptions reveal the beauty of the western land.

In addition, his descriptions of the people who populate the West expand our ideas of who lives there. For example, the characters in Tortilla Flat include Latinos (see the paper by George below). His characters include the dispossessed, such as the migrant workers George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men and the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck relates their natural way of speaking, including their diction and idioms, and portrays them with sympathy. While his work is realistic, it is also poetic, and he describes the people he writes about with a sense of ennobling lyricism. Therefore, while his work is part of realism , it is also poetic and a paean to the poor and...

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