John Steinbeck

Add a comment with your reflections on this author.

17 comments:

Mike (Narrow) said...

Choosing an author for the AAT can be overwhelming. That's why it's important to find an author who writes about something that might have an interest in. If you have an interest in the Great Depression, than there may not be a better author than John Steinbeck. Many of his novels target the California settings during the Depression, when many were out of work, and California was becoming overpopulated with migrants from the midwest. A novel such as the Grapes of Wrath may look frustratingly large and time consuming, but it is an extremely important read that is filled with true-to-life facts about the hardships of the 1930's. Overall, Steinbeck kept me interested with strong plots and complex characters.

Conor (Narrow) said...

When I started looking for Author Thesis books, I was lost. I had not clue where to start so the strategy I used was to guess. The author I guessed was John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck’s books are either very long or very short and nothing in between. John Steinbeck’s books are very hit or miss in my mind, kind of like having dumplings. It has to be the perfect time and place for these books to be enjoyable but when they are, they become a quick read. My only other complaint about Steinbeck’s novels is hat they have a very slow plot and can go off on random tangents about things not relevant to the novel. So. If you like dumplings, you should read John Steinbeck’s novels.

Maddie (Narrow) said...

If you like novels about characters' struggles after hard times then John Stenibeck is right for you. Steinbeck's common themes follow migrant workers in the mid 1900's, mostly taking place in the California area. I really enjoyed Of Mice and Men a novel we read in class. This lead me to my decsion of choosing Steinbeck. Although some of Steineck's books are depressing they teach good lessons about relationships and all have interesting characters.

Will (Narrow) said...

I've read three of Steinbeck's books, In Dubious Battle, Cannery Row, and To A God Unknown. They are fairly short books, all around two- three hundred pages. The novel In Dubious Battle was to the point but still somewhat confusing in it's own light. I would not recommend this novel because of its confusing structure and boring, uninteresting read. Cannery Row is a better easier novel. The thing about reading this novel is that it is hard and very difficult to find plots and themes. The novel switches the focus on several different characters each chapter making the read a little bit confusing. As well as In Dubious Battle I will not recommend this novel. The last novel I've read of Steinbeck's was To A God Unknown. This novel was much better than the rest of the novels. The plot was strait forward and the themes of the novel were very easy to pick up making this novel a key bring together information, and themes of all the other novels Steinbeck has written. And since all of his novels were hard to bring together I would suggest not picking up Steinbeck as an author for a thesis paper. I would only suggest Steinbeck as an author for Author Thesis if the person has researched all of his writings and knows for a fact that they will have many things in common. I did not know to do this so I struggled more than I should have, but it wasn't too bad.

Max(Rose) said...

I chose John Steinbeck because my Dad recommended him to me. Steinbeck was my dad’s favorite author growing up because his books were short, yet very interesting with many lessons about life. The three books I read were The Pearl, Cannery Row, and The Red Pony. There is little reading difficulty in Steinbeck’s books, but his ideas are deep. One difficult situation I came across was trying to find a constant theme in The Red Pony because the story is split up into four different sections and following it became complicated. I would recommend Steinbeck for the American Author Thesis project because his books are written in vivid language that makes them easy to visualize while you are reading.

Justin (Rose) said...

Personally I am not a fan of reading, but when I read Steinbeck, he made it interesting. I read three of Steinbeck’s books, The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, and The Pearl. The Pearl and Cannery Row were fairly easy to read because they were short novels. For The Grapes of Wrath, the main difficulty was staying concentrated, because every other chapter the novel would switch points of view, which was very annoying. Overall it was a good book but it took a while to finish. I would recommend reading Steinbeck's novels for Author Thesis because he has many similar themes all around the Great Depression. A strategy for reading his books is to take it slow and make sure you understand what you just read because some parts of his books can get a little dry. Also take a lot of good notes because you will need them when writing your paper. Good luck!

Jonathan (Bennett) said...

I don't generally read books often for fun, and i don't usaly enjoy reading books for school work, but i when i read John Steinbeck's books i thought they were very well written. Over all, John Steinbeck is a very good writer and poet. His books are not very long, but the reading is fully packed with clear detail and has very meaningful poetry. Steinbecks books are an easy read and are very interesting to read. These books are however easier to read than it is to write about, specifically when selecting themes. Otherwise the books he writes are very enjoyable to read.

Paul (Bennett) said...

I chose John Steinbeck as my author because of his style of writing and because of what he writes about. In class we read Of Mice and Men and I thought that was one of the best books I have ever read. Since I like that book I thought he would write more of those type novels. During the reading for the American Author Thesis, I read The Pearl, Tortilla Flat and The Grapes of Wrath. These novels were easy reads that connected to each other if you thought deeply and thought about the symbolism within each of the novels. Some advice for reading such a long book like The Grapes of Wrath is if you make a schedule that says how many pages you are to read that night. If not, you might find yourself reading for the whole night on the day that the book is due. Other than that I would highly recommend John Steinbeck for the American Author Thesis.

Taylor (McCarthy) said...

I have read a few books by Steinbeck before and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I appreciate Steinbeck’s style of writing and the meaning I got out of it to write this paper. Although it took a lot of long hours, I didn’t mind reading and writing about Steinbeck because I could connect to some of the books. I really enjoyed Tortilla Flat and Steinbeck’s descriptive writing helped picture the settings and plot of the book. If you like very descriptive writing and a solid amount of plot then I recommend Steinbeck. Although I had a lot of connections to the books I read, I did struggle at times to connect them together because they all had different themes. Overall, I would recommend Steinbeck for author thesis.

Troy (McCarthy) said...

I chose John Steinbeck because he is one of the greats when it comes to literature. His books are rich with details, and are famous for painting a picture in one’s mind whilst reading. His books were quite interesting, and were not challenging to comprehend. Don’t worry about whether or not you will find consistent themes, because there are many themes that are somewhat consistent throughout several of his books. I found Steinbeck to be quite easy to read and write about, and I thoroughly enjoyed the books I read, which were To a God Unknown, The Pastures of Heaven, and The Pearl.

Anonymous said...

Delaney (Dubé) said...
John Steinbeck's books offer a lot of different themes that can be used to create a solid argument about American society today. His books, though intense, have a lot of morals and lessons which readers can learn about and then teach others. The Grapes of Wrath was my least favorite of the five books that I read (The Pearl, Cannery Row, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men were the other books that I read. However, if you enjoy scenery and detail, The Grapes of Wrath will suit your reading personality. John Steinbeck's novels vary in length which makes makes his reading accessible to all kinds of readers. If people's interactions with each other and also with society interest you, then choose John Steinbeck.

Anonymous said...

Reading John Steinbeck was very enjoyable to me but his style of writing was different from most authors. Rather than having very exciting and intense works, Steinbeck's novels were rather slow but very deep and thought triggering. Writing an essay from Steinbeck's novels was extremely easy because all throughout his novels he makes real world connections and deep points about Americans which makes it easy to find quotations surrounding your chosen thesis.

Matthew (Brown) said...

After reading The Grapes of Wrath over the summer, I was immediately hooked by Steinbeck’s commentary, story, characters, and description of setting. While his stories range from 200 pages (such as Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row) to 400 pages (Grapes of Wrath) and beyond (East of Eden), each story is very manageable, due to Steinbeck’s flow and clarity. Set mainly in 1900-1930’s Southwestern America, each of Steinbeck’s novels takes you on a journey through this magical geography and exposes the plights of everyday Americans who are victimized by struggles of surviving in the rural American countryside. Each character experiences a journey of some sort, whether physically or even psychologically and tries to figure out the meaning of America. Steinbeck varies from other American authors due to his unique narrative style, which makes for some very interesting and insightful reading. Steinbeck explores many different topics and themes which makes synthesizing his novels a unique process for each reader, because there are so many things to examine and choose from. If Southwest American literature circa the Great Depression is your thing, or if you want to try something new, I would definitely recommend John Steinbeck. He didn’t win multiple Pulitzer’s for nothing!

Anonymous said...

John Steinbeck would be the perfect author if you have an interest in The Great Depression because he writes about the events that take place during that time. The books I read were The Grapes of Wrath, Tortilla Flat, and The Pearl. The books were pretty easy to read and I was able to find good notes for the topics you need to write on notecards to be handed in (Theme, Human Nature, Character Motivation). As long as you keep up with the due dates for finishing each book and notecards you should be well prepared for writing the essay. When it came time to find a theme that was present in all three books it took me awhile to find the theme but eventually I was able to find it and write the paper.

Anonymous said...


I chose John Steinbeck because I enjoyed his style of writing. His style of writing was different than most authors I have read and that pushed me to do him. I read Tortilla Flat, The Pearl, and Cannery Row. All of these books dealt with people who were poor and in the books Steinbeck conveys how they use community to work their problems out together. I enjoyed Steinbeck because the themes in the books relate to each other and can connect. Steinbeck is very descriptive and is a helpful factor while reading. Steinbeck uses characterization which is a great quality of his writing. I suggest taking a lot of notes that can help you through the writing process. Though it took me a long time to read and come up with a thesis about these books I overall enjoyed reading John Steinbeck's works.

Anonymous said...

Grace Maggiacomo
I chose Steinbeck because a few years ago I read one of his short books, The Pearl and really enjoyed it. Though at some points his novels can get a little bit slow, they are overall pretty enjoyable to read. I loved and hated a lot of his characters which made me feel more connected to the book and hooked me into the books. I read East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Tortilla Flat. I really enjoyed East of Eden and the characters in it. I didn't enjoy the Grapes of Wrath too much, but it has a ton of great themes that connect very well with other works by Steinbeck. Tortilla Flat was a rather light, easy read that was a good break from East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath, and I was still able to find relevant themes in it, though I struggled a little bit at first. I would definitely recommend trying to balance out some of Steinbeck's dense long reads with one short novel so that you are not completely overwhelmed by his 450-500 page books. Another piece of advice is that you definitely should create and follow your reading schedule. On the occasions that I put off a little bit of reading (especially of Grapes and Eden) one or two days can really add up and become a lot of work to catch up on. Overall, I would recommend John Steinbeck.

Anonymous said...

John (McCarthy)
John Steinbeck is an author that primarily explores the lives of lower classes citizens in the early 20th century, many of which contain elements of the Great Depression. His books tend to start off very slow but progress with rich symbolism and imagery throughout the story. I read The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row. The Grapes of Wrath is a huge book that is Steinbeck's most popular work. The book requires the reader to invest a lot of time and notes into the book, but if done correctly, can yield extremely successful ideas and points of comparison to write about. Cannery Row was a much shorter book that seemed to have more concrete themes, but I found it difficult to compare the two because of they seemed to suggest different ideas about the lives of lower class citizens. If you keep up with reading and write detailed notes, Steinbeck can be a very good option to consider.

American Author Thesis

Now that you have written your essay, we ask that you reflect on the reading portion of the experience and write 100-150 words about your author.

Think of what you write as advice for someone next year and beyond, someone who (like you were doing last fall) is thinking about choosing your author - and maybe even the same three books - to read for the assignment.