"Breakfast" John Steinbeck Analysis

1104 Words Oct 13th, 2011 5 Pages
“Breakfast”

“A merry heart goes on all day

The sad tires in a mile” (William Shakespeare)

John Steinbeck, an American author and winner of the Nobel Prize, was a leading writer of novels about the working class and was a major spokesman for the victims of the Great Depression. Steinbeck is widely known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and the novella Of Mice and Men.

In the following short story, the author tells us about a poor, yet united family of cotton pickers who invited him in to share breakfast together.
The text presents a piece of first person narration interwoven with the descriptions of nature, short lines and character descriptions united into one complete logical part.
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The portrayal of the personages in the following short story is very vivid and close to life. We get the direct description of their appearance from the author, while their speech and behavior provide the readers with insight into their disposition. All the personages in the story are coupled: the girl and her baby, the older man and his son. The first character met by the author is the young girl and her newly born baby. We see a poorly dressed young woman, the author renders her image to us with the help of clear adjectives such as: faded cotton skirt, precise and practiced movements. Her life is filled with routine and concerns about the household, that she manages to take care of in a mastery fashion. The author underlines it by using such a colorful epithet as: ...light quick gracefulness of her movement. At first, the reader feels deep compassion for the girl, since she must be unhappy. In truth, as we find out later – she is quite happy with her life, she shows great pride for her man and is always eager to help her family. Judging by the girls’ actions, we can say that she is very kind, openhearted and naive. Her image is symbolic, not only does she represent cleanliness and purity of heart, she is also a symbol of warmth of the family’s hearth. The characters of men, in their appearance are opposed