Brief Biography of John Steinbeck

Essay by ihate2readHigh School, 11th grade June 2004

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John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. He spent his childhood loving and appreciating the environment. He grew up with two older sisters and one younger sister. At age fourteen he made the decision to write, beginning then with stories and poems. In the year of 1919 he enrolled at Stanford University, taking classical and British literature, writing courses, and also even science classes. After his schooling at the university, he tried working in construction and also as a newspaper reporter in New York City. That didn't last long and he decided to return to California. In 1930, he married Carol Henning and settled in his family's cottage so he could continue writing and she could find work. She aided him in editing his prose, typing his manuscripts, suggesting titles, and more. Some of Steinbeck's well-known works include East of Eden, Cup of Gold, The Pastures of Heaven, To A God Unknown, The Long Valley, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath.

As of 1933, he found his own new prose style that was more naturalistic. Many of his ideas were thought to have come to him due to his friendship with a marine biologist named Edward Flanders Ricketts. Their relationship lasted about 18 years and Ricketts is thought to have been his mentor. Steinbeck's interest in writing about World War II urged him to go overseas as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. In the 1940s though, Steinbeck is thought to have weakened both personally and in his professional work. He divorced Carol and instantly moved east with a new wife, Gwyndolyn Conger. With her he had two sons, but the marriage broke up soon after the second son was born. Also that same year of...