John Steinbeck's Journey To America

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During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the people of America were changing. John Steinbeck knew this and figured out that it was finally time to go on the journey of a lifetime. In his novel Travels With Charley: In Search of America Steinbeck sets out on a journey across America, with his poodle Charley, in search of the true spirit of America and the people living in America. Steinbeck felt as if he had not known if what he was writing about was entirely truthful. Steinbeck felt like he needed to rediscover America because he felt like Americans themselves were changing. Steinbeck states in his book, “Thus I discovered that I did not know my own country. I, an American writer, writing about America, was working from memory, and the memory…show more content…
He does not want to end up like all the other “bums” in the country. He says in his novel, “And in my own life I am not willing to trade quality for quantity. If this projected journey should prove too much then it was time to go anyway. I see too many men delay their exits with a sickly, slow reluctancy to leave the stage. It's bad theater as well as bad living,” (Steinbeck 20). Steinbeck wants to take this trip as soon as possible, even if the on the surface he doesn't seem up to it. He doesn't want to end up like all the other men in the country, who just stay home and never take the trip. His first few encounters on his journey are very different from each other, which makes Steinbeck unsure what to expect from the entire journey. Steinbeck’s first five encounters happened as follows; The young man on the ferry’s conversation was informative but very brief (22), the owner of the store’s conversation was mostly the owner telling Steinbeck how much he wants to go on the journey with him (25), the farmer’s encounter was mostly talking to Steinbeck about politics and how people in his area don’t talk much about their opinions (29), the waitress at the diner in Maine barely said a word to him (35), and lastly the woman with the pomeranian had an unpleasant experience with Steinbeck (41). These varying events made Steinbeck question his
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