Free «Annotated Bibliography on John Steinbeck» Essay Sample

John Steinbeck %u2012 an American writer and the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1962. He wrote his novels, short stories and non-fiction books in accordance with naturalism movement, the main topic of which is the life of American rural folk. However, there are many of his works that have a mixture of different literary styles and movements.

Railsback B., & Meyer M. (2006). A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia. Westport: Greenwood


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This book is an extensive overview of writer’s life and works. There are many entries, which are written by expert contributors. All entries are alphabetically arranged. As a result the encyclopedia provides useful information of Steinbeck’s first literary work. “Cup of Gold” (1929), the only historical fiction novel in his canon. This adventure story about the pirate Henry Morgan is a study of good and evil, which has nothing to do with naturalism with its paradoxical message of the title (Railsback & Meyer, 2006, p. 69). (2012, August 4). John Steinbeck %u2012 Biography. Retrieved from

This is the article on the official web site the Nobel Prize. It provided a current list of materials dealing with John Steinbeck’s writings. Furthermore, the article highlights necessary information, as for Steinbeck’s stories “The Pastures of Heaven” (1932), “To a God Unknown” (1933) and “Tortilla Flat” (1935). Since, he became widely known, with a help of the last one, a series of humorous stories about Monterey paisanos. These social novels tell us about economic problems of rural labour. Also, the article appraises “Travels with Charley” (1962) as a travelogue about Steinbeck’s impressions during three-month tout through 40 American states. And it relates “The Winter of Our Discontent” (1961) to author’s best later works (, 2012).

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Reef C. (1996). John Steinbeck. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

The book is completely devoted to John Steinbeck’s life and his main works. It has a lot of details of the times in which the author lived. The main aim of the book is to help readers understand Steinbeck’s novels and give reasons to read them. As the book says “Dubious Battle” (1936), “Of Mice and Men” (1937) and “The Grapes of Wrath” (1939) made a good reputation for the author. The serious fiction about strikes on plantations, stupid drifter Lennie and the Great Depression developed his political thoughts in other novels, too (Reef, 1996).

McElrath J.R., Crisler J.S., Shillinglaw S. (2009). John Steinbeck: the contemporary reviews.

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New York: Cambridge University Press. 294%u2012518.

This research book is a critical response of John Steinbeck’s writings. It collects different thoughts of critics, who evaluate and explain author’s message. In the book Harrison Smith writes that the work “The Moon is Down” (1942) is an anti-fascist allegory. It tells us about people changes for the good or bad. The book is written in “play” style, contrary to other Steinbeck works, for example, the philosophical novel “The Wayward Bus” is a modern satire, where “every page of it carries the unmistakable seal and signature of John Steinbeck’s mind and style” (McElrath et al., 2009, p.294). Also, Richard Astro says that in 1950s Steinbeck went through the writer’s block. His longest and the most ambitious novel “East of Eden” (1952) was not famous at first, however a symbolic representation of the Cain-Abel story became a best-seller after a while (McElrath et al., 2009). (2012, August 4). Books. Retrieved from

This is a private tribute website. It focuses on biography, books and films of John Steinbeck. It has completely full information about different aspects of the author’s major works. As the article on the website says the short novel “The Winter of Our Discontent” is well written, with superb dialogues and clever references to religion and American history. It is one more ironical story of Steinbeck about “American idol” failure (, 2012).

John Steinbeck is a contradictory writer, who wrote high-class prose. He is the author of truthful, naturalistic books, in which he combined folk topics with political issues and symbolic sense.

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