Criticism Of John Steinbeck Literary Criticism

1750 Words7 Pages
Of Mice, Pearls, and Critics Former British prime minister Winston Churchill once said that “criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” Many writers use their work as a way to address real-life issues. These issues could be personal, political, social, religious or economic in nature. This form of writing is typically referred to as social criticism. John Steinbeck, author of many notable novels, is often referred to as a social critic. Steinbeck presents messages about many issues through his writing. Throughout the course of Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, Steinbeck displays his commentary on clear flaws in our society, such as racism, ableism, prejudice against the poor, the marginalization of women, loneliness, and greed. Clearly, the inclusion of such controversial topics has brought much attention to these novellas. Mary Jo Finney, a parent from the city of Coeur d’Alene, noted the use of “profanity in [Of Mice and Men], including ‘bastard’ and ‘God damn’ [to be] too ‘negative’ and ‘dark’” (Schaub). Parents and members of this Idaho city’s school board even went on to claim “that ‘casual use of the N-word among white high schoolers is significantly more destructive than controlled exposure followed by an intellectual conversation in a healthy classroom environment’” (Schaub). However, it is necessary to note that in the setting of
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