Themes And Styles Of John Steinbeck 's ' The '

4033 Words Nov 16th, 2014 17 Pages
John Buttiglione
Mr. Bruno
English IV Period 08
November 17, 2014
Themes and Styles of John Steinbeck John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was born on February 26, 1902 in Salinas, California. He spent the majority of his childhood there and readers learn about his home city and childhood in his works. Steinbeck wrote novels, non-fiction books, short stories, poetry, and plays. Some of his most impactful and recognized works include: Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, The Moon is Down, East of Eden, In Dubious Battle, and Tortilla Flat. He was an investigative journalist who worked for the San Francisco News during his lifetime. He was a very controversial writer whose goal was to reform the current state of the United States.
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An excellent example of this is Steinbeck’s novel, The Moon Is Down. The novel takes place in a small town that is presumed to have been taken over by the German Nazis. It was written very briefly after the United States’ entry into World War II, so the novel was rather impactful in America (Constantakis 278). Before his experience with war, Steinbeck believed that people could only be happy if they were voluntarily participating, but once war began he saw how easy it was to get people to work for a corrupt group when the only other option was oppression (Cicarelli and Napierkowski 311). Steinbeck goes as far as to write “Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War,” a collection of missives, concerning the Vietnam War. Steinbeck states that it was unlike World War II because there were not any frontlines or enemies in uniform. Steinbeck’s son had enlisted in the war and Steinbeck supported the war, wanting to learn more about it through personal involvement. His goal was to describe the war for the American public, but unfortunately, he died 18 months after returning home. “Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War” was not published until very long after in 2012 (Balaban). A subtheme of war seen throughout Steinbeck’s The Moon Is Down is leadership. Steinbeck uses two contrasting forms of leadership: one held in a more positive light and the other in a more negative one (Constantakis 283). The two different types of
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