Travels With Charley Steinbeck Essay

Travels With Charley Steinbeck Essay-80
That did not make him lapse into quietism, or leave him indifferent to social reform.Far from it: compassion and concern lie on the direct route too.

That did not make him lapse into quietism, or leave him indifferent to social reform.

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In effect, Steinbeck was arguing, we were using Vietnam simply to establish the continuing virility of our local brand of morality.

In an interview after belatedly receiving the Nobel Prize, Steinbeck observed that it was more difficult in the 1960's than in the 1930's to determine who was an underdog, more difficult—to borrow the title of one of his most famous essays—to tell good guys from bad.

The admission shows that Steinbeck's thinking had not become sophisticated enough to deal with the subtle problems of an age of affluence.

Part of the trouble is that when values are principally physical—as in problems of survival—it is not difficult to perceive the differences between contenders; but when values are principally intellectual or spiritual—as in problems of adjustment—it may be very difficult to perceive differences. 303-04) In his great novels of the 1930's Steinbeck intentionally alerted the nation to the dangers that persistence in the stereotyped thinking fostered by the chimerical speculative abundance that a virgin continent once promised presented to a land that had failed to solve the problems of fairly distributing its resources.

Johnson, like Steinbeck, insisted on responding to the problems of the 1960's as if they were those of the 1930's. 299) Steinbeck was able to see the Vietnamese conflict not in ideological terms but as a necessary stimulant to American morale.

Travels With Charley Steinbeck Essay Norton Short Reader Essays

He embraced—again like many of his countrymen—the puritanical notion that a nation can flourish only when it is fighting against physical odds—"westering."…

Steinbeck, John 1902–1968 An American novelist and short story writer, Steinbeck won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

His realistic accounts of rural poverty in the United States, most notably The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, are American classics. Travels with Charley in Search of America, a series of travel articles from Holiday that became a leading bestseller…, is a hodge-podge of superficial social criticism, ripe sentimentality, one endless joke about the urination of Steinbeck's dog, bad prose, encounters that surely must have been invented, and factual inaccuracies.

He failed to grasp that in an age when a potential threat of atomic destruction hangs over the whole world—when man could annihilate himself—the question of who "wins" this or that particular physical engagement can hardly be a burning issue. The failure of Steinbeck's private politics was to reflect a general failure of American politics. The political fastidiousness of the polite liberal—epitomized by Steinbeck—is surely one of them. 304-05) Warren French, "John Steinbeck (1902–1968)," in The Politics of Twentieth-Century Novelists, edited by George Panichas (reprinted by permission of Hawthorn Books, Inc.; copyright © 1971 by The University of Maryland; all rights reserved), Hawthorn, 1971, pp. Talismanic symbols take many and various forms in Steinbeck's novels.

In To A God Unknown the rock in the forest glade is a talisman to Joseph Wayne, and the rock is described much like the pink piece of stone in The Winter of Our Discontent.


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