Steinbeck Essay

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STEINBECK No author in western literature capture the essence of the Salinas valley better than John Steinbeck. Steinbeck spent the majority of his childhood years in the valley and the senic location inspired many of his works. The descriptive qualities of Steinbecks writing and the personification he incorporated, gave the land human like characteristics making it feel alive. Steinbeck seemed to bring the colour, sight, sound and even the smell of the Salinas Valley to life. “ I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer—and what trees and seasons smelled like—how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odour is very rich.” (EOE 1) The sheer physical beauty of the land was captured in a poetic manner which created the natural foundation for the relationship between the earth and man. John Steinbecks works display the relationship between the human experience and the cycle of the land. We are able to see the beginning of growth represented in The Red Pony. Jody, the main character is essentially a sprout. He is curious about all things, waiting for the reality of his maturity to catch up to him. Throughout the four chapter novellet we see the transition of Jody from a young child to forming a better sense of self and beginning to enter manhood. In the first chapter Jody`s maturity is put to test when he is given a red pony from his father. The pony requires all of Jody`s attention for it is the one thing which soley belongs to him. When the pony becomes deathly ill, Jody must accept the inevidable- death. This represented a transitional moment in Jody`s life. Accepting that death is simply the final stage in the human experience, and that we all must eventually pass on, is all a part of growing up. The mountains which surround Jody`s home are composed of the Galiban and the Santa Lucia range.

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