Other Fiction Criticism
|Karson, Jill, ed. Readings on The Pearl. Greenhaven Press Lit. Companion to
Amer. Lit. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1999.
Designed for young adults to provide an introduction to literary analysis and criticism.
Features seventeen previously published essays divided into four chapters: “Important
Themes in The Pearl,” “Symbols, Language, and Structural Devices,” “A Critical
Selection,” and “Characters in The Pearl.” Each essay is chosen for easy accessibility
and is edited for comprehension at a young adult level. Includes a short biography, a
chronology, a list of major works by Steinbeck, and suggestions for further reading.
Heavilin, Barbara, ed. Steinbeck Yearbook. Vol. 1. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2000.
Not yet published. Will be an annual that features themed articles on a variety of perspectives.
The first volume’s theme is The Winter of Our Discontent.
Kocela, Kris. “The Redefining of Self in the ‘Gradual Flux’: An Existentialist Reading
of In Dubious Battle.” Steinbeck Newsletter 9.1 (1996): 1-6.
Briefly explains existentialism and how it is applied to literature. States that the fate of Mac,
Jim, and Doc Burton indicates their success in re-defining themselves according to Sartre’s
universal human condition. Asserts that Mac is the only one to survive the novel since he is
the only one who becomes aware of his existentialist human freedom.
Piwinski, David J. “Floral Gold in Steinbeck’s ‘The Chrysanthemums.’” Notes on
Contemporary Literature 27.5 (1997): 4-5.
Considers the etymological root of chrysanthemum as “golden flower.” Argues that this
allusion to gold gives the story an ironic motif that strengthens the portrait of Elisa as an
Tavernier-Courbin, Jacqueline. “Social Satire in John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat and
Cannery Row.” Thalia: Studies in Literary Humor 17.1-2 (1997): 51-60.
States that the humor in Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row comes from inverting the traditional
moral and social expectations that assume that a respectable person is a better human being
than a disreputable one. Focuses on Steinbeck’s use of prostitution, self-interest, marriage,
property ownership, and the work ethic as themes in the two novels. Claims that his satire
aims more at humans than at concepts.