English 177-1 - Winter, 2016

Study of an Individual Author

    Topic: John Steinbeck's California

Class Information

Instructor: Hicks, Jack
CRN: 22764
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 25 Wellman


    A dozen of John Steinbeck’s sweeping narratives of paisanos (Tortilla Flat) and Okies (The Grapes of Wrath)--both fiction and nonfiction--are set in his native California, and we read the seven major works from that group, ranging from The Pastures of Heaven (1932), a collection of interconnected stories set in the Santa Clara valley, to East of Eden (1952), the novel he regarded as his master work. At least nineteen of his books have been the basis for films (including Topoli, a 1972 Irani adaptation of Of Mice and Men and the forthcoming In Dubious Battle, adapted and directed by James Franco) and we’ll include liberal cinematic samplings. Focus on Steinbeck’s issues, themes, techniques and standing as a California, American and international figure.


    Three 5-7 pp papers


    The Pastures of Heaven (1932)
    Of Mice and Men (1937)
    Tortilla Flat (1935)
    The Long Valley (1938)
    The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
    Cannery Row (1945)
    East of Eden (1952)