John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 — December 20, 1968) was an American writer of the 20th century. His representative works include “Of Mice and Men”, “the Grapes of Wrath”, “the Moon Went Down”, “East of Eden”, “Winter of Trouble” and many more great American classics. John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in 1902. His father, John Ernst Steinbeck, moved west after the Civil War to run a flour mill and served as treasurer for the Monterey County government for many years. His mother Olivia Hamilton was an elementary school teacher. Steinbeck read a lot in his childhood. He later graduated from high school in 1919, serving as class President in school. Steinbeck mostly spent his holidays on the nearby ranch as a hired farm hand.
In Steinbeck’s literary world, the observation and description of various living states under the poor material conditions of human beings have a prominent and decisive position. This is a common feature of his novels (including most of his journalistic and documentary works). He contemplates about the essential problem of human existence and even the transcendent dilemmas of society. In Steinbeck’s novel, “poverty” mainly refers to a state of extreme material deprivation. Steinbeck’s characters generally live in a state of considerable material deprivation — or rather, he persists in depicting the conditions of human poverty. In this specific creation, his writing about the causes of poverty directly correlates to the characteristic theme of realism. Steinbeck’s deep obsession with poverty and his discussion of it exemplify his artistic concerns and is reflected through many of his writings.