Influences Of Steinbeck's Literature

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Influences of Steinbeck’s Literature When an author composes a piece of literature, one may discover parallels between the work and the biographical experiences of the author. The Winter of Our Discontent illustrates Steinbeck’s perception of the pessimistic, post-war atmosphere in the United States. Steinbeck incorporates real events from the time period to exemplify changes and how some individuals would react to those discrepancies. The way Steinbeck wants the readers to view and understand these non-fiction affairs in a fictional setting allows for the reader to develop opinions about each issue. After spending ten months in England, Steinbeck returned to America in 1959 to find an extreme change in the value of principles. A specific…show more content…
The novel shows materialism through the desires of Hawley’s son and daughter. After the war, people spent more money on items for satisfaction rather than just necessity. Over the course of the 1950’s, consumers were praised for spending their money as it helped the American economy, which was still in recovery from the depression. For this reason, spending money was viewed as patriotic (The Rise of American Consumerism). Steinbeck presents materialism from a child’s point of view by capturing Allen speaking of his desire to own a motorbike like all the other kids, even though his family cannot afford a car, or television (Steinbeck 71). Another materialistic character is Ethan’s daughter, Ellen. She often questioned her father about money, and at one point she directly asks him, “When are you going to be rich? I’m sick of being poor (Steinbeck 75).” Both of these characters can provide insight from a child’s point of view during the time period. The wish for wealth takes over in the Hawley household as the family needs the money and knows that there is a possible chance that they could come into wealth soon based on a reading from a fortune teller and Ethan is taking a risk and investing some inheritance money that his wife had received. The simple thought of money drove the family to reach a degree of materialism before the opportunity even
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