John Steinbeck will be forever known as the voice of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the very survival of the American way of life was threatened. In works of simple eloquence and raw emotional power, he dramatizes the plight of the homeless and down-and-out, especially those itinerant farm workers who, swept from their Midwestern farms by the Dust Bowl, migrated in droves to a California that proved to be the opposite of a paradise of milk and honey. In chronicling these tragic years, Steinbeck creates some of the most iconic characters in American literature, including George Milton and Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men and Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. Revisit three of Steinbeck’s heartfelt masterpieces, and relive the hopes, dreams and despairs of a bygone era whose struggles ring loudly in our own troubled times.
Course Number: LIT-40085 Credit: 2 units