John Steinbeck

Essay by AJ3000 October 2004

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John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck, a 20th century novelist, was the recipient of numerous awards including the Nobel Prize. Steinbeck, a conservative that valued the old America, could produce pages of beauty followed by pages of sheer trash writing using specific characteristics, which his work is characterized by. John Steinbeck's work is characterized by symbolism and allegory, which can be seen in his novels The Pearl, The Grapes ofWrath, and his short story "Flight."

In his short story, "Flight," John Steinbeck uses many examples of symbolism, which is one way you can characterize John Steinbecks' work. Symbolism can be a person, place, or thing used to portray something beyond itself. The most repeatedly used symbol in "Flight" is the color black. In literature many authors use the color black to represent death. In his short story, "Flight," Steinbeck has numerous examples of color symbolism. A few examples are the black handle on the long blade, Pepe's black hair, and the black jerky.

Another example may be found when Pepé puts on his fathers black coat, which represents death. When Pepé puts on the coat he is literally covering himself with death. Another fine example is the trail in which Pepé travels. Steinbeck describes the path as a well-worn black path. By traveling on this path he is in fact taking the road of death. Furthermore Pepé's appearance also helps foreshadow the ending. Steinbeck describes him as having a black hat that covers his black thatched hair. Pepé is also described as being dark, lean and tall. Another example is Pepé's shack. The shack is described as weathered and very old. It casts a rather large shadow to the Northeast. The darkness of the shadow symbolizes death in the home. As we can readily see, the authors use of...