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Chapter 1

Before the novel begins, Steinbeck includes a note to his long-time editor, Pascal Covici. He tells Covici that he has made him a box and “Nearly everything I have is in it. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts…and still the box is not full.” Steinbeck set out to create an epic. He begins with a sweeping description of the Salinas Valley in California. It is a personal recollection in which Steinbeck, as the speaker, recounts the beauty of the land and the majesty of the mountains that surround the valley. He writes, “I remember that the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains full of sun and loveliness...you...

(The entire section is 252 words.)