ž Of Mice And Men (1937; films, 1939, 1999) 人鼠之間(另譯：鼠與人)
ž The Red Pony (1937; film, 1949) 紅駒
ž The Grapes Of Wrath (1939: Pulitzer Prize; film, 1940) 憤怒的葡萄(另譯：怒火之花)
ž The Moon Is Down (1942; film, 1943) 月亮下去了
ž Cannery Row (1945; film, 1982) 製罐巷(另譯：製罐大道)
ž The Pearl (1947; film, 1948) 滄海淚珠(另譯：珍珠)
ž The Wayward Bus (1947; film, 1957) 拋錨汽車
ž Burning Bright (1950) 炯炯焰光
ž East of Eden (1952; film, 1955) 伊甸園東
ž The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) 令人不滿的冬天(另譯：冬日愁情)
ž Travels with Charley (1962) 與理查一起旅行：尋找美國
ž 「《天國牧場》(Pastures of Heaven 1932) and《長谷》（The Long Valley 1938)都是短篇故事合輯，薩琳娜斯村和福克納作品裡根據他在密西西比州拉法葉縣的家鄉，牛津郡所創造出來的Yoknapatawpha郡類似，都是一個虛構出來的地方。」(Liukkonen)
ž 在《大地的象徵》(1933)這本小說中，「史坦貝克綜合了生態及哲學家李克兹（Edward F. Ricketts）的想法和榮格的神話原型概念和主題。」(Liukkonen)「這部小說在描述一個農夫約瑟夫．韋恩（Joseph Wayne）受了他拓荒者父親的祝福後，在一個遙遠的蓋了一個新的農舍。最後他犧牲自己，化為塵土與甘霖，解決旱象」。史坦貝克不想太過於深入解釋故事情節，所以他事先就知道這本作品不會吸引太多的讀者。
「史坦貝克有著極為廣泛的興趣：海洋生物學，爵士樂，政治學，哲學，歷史和數學。(Encyclopedia of World Biography)」對於很多人而言，他就代表了經濟大蕭條時期的聲音。史坦貝克嘗試了許多不同的寫作風格和寫作觀點。他大部份的寫作風格都是自然主義/寫實主義，在他的小說當中描寫勞動階段的人們。「史坦貝克可以很精確且專業的捕捉和表達和他背景相似人們擔心焦慮和其特別的個性。他同時也有著可以描繪類似神話和聖經模式的能力，並將這些東西用來增加他作品的可看性。」(Mibba Articles)
史坦貝克是一個時常雲遊四海的旅行家，而且常將他的旅行經驗作為是他創作小說的基礎，並且也寫了很多非小說形態的旅遊日誌。這些旅遊日誌包含《科爾特茲海》(Sea of Cortez 1942), 《與理查一起旅行：尋找美國》Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962) and A Russian Journal (1948)。
ž “Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it and it has not changed except to become more needed. The skalds, the bards, the writers are not separate and exclusive. From the beginning, their functions, their duties, their responsibilities have been decreed by our species” (“Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.”).
ž “The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit--for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature” (“Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.”).
ž “The basic rule given us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from the writer to the reader, and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, there were no rules” (“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.”).
ž “A story could be about anything and could use any means and any technique at all - so long as it was effective” (“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.”).
Steinbeck in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
“The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with the dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement. Furthermore, the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit; for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love” (Nobelprize.org).
V. Important Passages of Cannery Row Explained – by Dr. Joseph Murphy
Page numbers refer to Penguin edition, 1992.
1) 1.What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and to come to his property with a gastric ulcer, a blown prostate, and bifocals? Our Father who art in nature, who has given the gift of survival to the coyote, the common brown rat, the English sparrow, the house-fly and the moth, must have a great and overwhelming love for no-goods and blots-on-the-town and bums, and Mack and the boys. Virtues and graces and laziness and zest. Our Father who art in nature. (15)
In this passage from Cannery Row, Steinbeck’s narrator points out the irony that Mack and the boys are actually, from a natural perspective, better survivors than the middle class people who consider them “no-goods and blots-on-the-town.” Middle class strivers ruin their heath in the pursuit of material comfort and stability, while Mack and the boys enjoy life through a combination of natural instinct and laziness. Steinbeck’s narrator finds “virtues” and “graces” in Mack in the boys by altering the Christian prayer from “Our Father who art in heaven” to “Our Father who art in nature” (italics added). As children of nature, Mack and the boys are blessed. However, it should be added that although they are good survivors, Mac and the boys are not successful reproducers—thus they don’t measure up to a longer-term definition of success in nature.
2) 2. But as time went on the gopher began to be a little impatient, for no female appeared. He sat in the entrance of his hole in the morning and made penetrating squeaks that are inaudible to the human ear but can be heard deep in the earth by other gopher. And still no female appeared. . . . Again he waited and squeaked beside his beautiful borrow in the beautiful place but no female ever came and after a while he had to move away. He had to move two blocks up the hill to the dahlia garden where they put out traps every night. (191-92)
This passage, from the penultimate chapter of Cannery Row is a sort of animal fable. The gopher finds the perfect borrow to live on Cannery Row; there are no traps and no predators and he begins to store food and prepare for a family. However, no female mate appears, so in order to mate and reproduce he needs to move to more dangerous ground with traps. The story seems to reflect upon the novel’s main characters—Mac and the boys and Doc—who find their own ideal places to live but, unlike the gopher, avoid the pitfalls of conventional middle class life (but also effectively give up on having offspring of their own).
3) 3. [Mack] knew Doc had a girl in there, but Mack used to get a dreadful feeling of loneliness out of it. Even in the dear close contact with a girl Mack felt that Doc would be lonely. Doc was a night crawler. . . . Sometimes when it was all dark and when it seemed that sleep had come at last, the diamond-true child voices of the Sistine Choir would come from the windows of the laboratory.
Doc had to keep up his collecting. (100)
This passage from Cannery Row describes Mack, in the Palace Flophouse, watching Doc at Western Biological. Mack senses something fundamentally lonely about Doc, even though Doc has frequent romantic partners. Although Doc is the hero of Cannery Row and contributes generously to its society, there is something damaged and isolated about him—he is a loner, “a night-crawler” (an analogy to nocturnal animals). There are clues here to how Mac compensates for his loneliness: he is a great absorber of art and music, e.g., the Sistine Choir, though he is not traditionally religious. His collecting of biological specimens, which he “had to keep up,” also seems a compensation for some inner emptiness.
VI. Study Questions on Cannery Row – by Dr. Joseph Murphy
Study Questions: Steinbeck, Cannery Row (page numbers refer to the Penguin edition, 1992)
The opening lines of the novel assert that Cannery Row is “a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” Explain the implication of each of these terms, and find an example of each element from elsewhere in the novel.
In the final paragraph of the opening chapter, Steinbeck says he will “let the stories crawl” into the book “by themselves,” as a collector of marine animals lets a flat worm crawl onto a knife blade (3). What does this comment suggest about the structure of this novel? How does Steinbeck’s art resemble the work of a collector?
What picture do we get of social classes in the town of Monterey, California, and particularly in the section called Cannery Row? To what class do the denizens of Cannery Row belong? How do they make money?
Where do people live on Cannery Row? What, physically, constitutes a home in this novel? What separates private space from public space?
Discuss the novel’s representation of family and marriage. What views of traditional family life do we see? What models are presented for alternative, non-traditional families?
What is Steinbeck saying in his short, poetic chapter 2? What added significance is he giving to his subjects? How is he echoing, and revising, the language of Christianity?
Study Steinbeck’s portrayal of Chinese characters and culture. Two key examples are Lee Chong, the grocer, and the unnamed “Chinaman” in chapter 4: how do they compare and contrast? How much understanding does Steinbeck seem to have of California’s Chinese culture?
What makes Doc a unique character and an important figure on Cannery Row? What kinds of knowledge does he possess, and how do they relate to one another? What is the purpose of his work, and how does it connect Cannery Row to other places? How is Doc’s function in Cannery Row similar to and different from Mrs. Todd’s in The Country of the Pointed Firs?
Discuss the function of animals (marine animals and others) in the novel. How does animal life reflect human life? How are animals different from humans? How do animals and humans relate to one another and to their environments—that is, how do they participate in the ecosystem?
What is the role of violence in the novel? Give some specific examples and discuss their significance. What motivates violent behavior, particularly self-destructive behavior?
This novel depicts what is primarily a male world. What female characters are represented, and how do they relate to men? Are they portrayed in a positive light? Explain.
In ch. 11, Steinbeck inserts a paragraph of commentary on the social impact of the Model T Ford (67-68). What points does he make? Explain his claim, “The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped [by the Model T] that it never quite recovered.” How is this claim supported by events in this chapter?
What do you think is Steinbeck’s purpose in including the story about the internal organs of Josh Billings, the humorist (ch. 12)? Is it humorous? Disgusting? Serious? Tongue-in-cheek? How does it relate to Steinbeck’s themes in Cannery Row? What does it reveal about Monterey as a town? What significance does the story have for Steinbeck as a literary figure in Monterey?
Ch. 13 shows how Mack and the boys survive and prosper in the world. What methods do they use? What makes this trip a peaceful and ideal experience? How does a harsher reality also suggest itself in the chapter?
At the end of ch. 13, Hazel remarks, “I bet Mack could of been president of the U.S. if he wanted” (84). What has Mack done to inspire this comment? How does Mack show himself to be a skilful politician? In ch. 15 we learn that the captain’s wife is actually a politician. Why is this ironic?
Ch. 14 is a poetic inter-chapter about “the hour of the pearl” (86). What is special about this time, and why the association with “the pearl”? How do the details in this chapter—especially the description of the soldiers and their girlfriends—help to characterize this “hour of the pearl”? How does this chapter relate to the book’s larger themes?
What more do we learn about Doc’s character in ch. 17? What does he eat and drink on the way down to La Jolla? Why? What do you think of this behavior pattern? Is it unhealthy? Abnormal? What does it suggest about Doc as a person?
In ch. 18 Doc, while hunting for small octopi, discovers the body of a dead girl. How is the body described? How does Doc react to it, and what role does music play in his reaction? What does this reaction suggest about Doc’s character and his psyche? Why do you think Steinbeck includes this shocking discovery?
What impact does the flag-pole skater (ch. 19) have on the town of Monterey, and on individuals within the town? Why do you think this particular spectacle attracts such interest? What question does everyone have about the flag-pole skater, and why don’t people ask it?
Why does Lee Chong decide to accept Mack’s frogs as payment for merchandise? How does this scheme serve as a parody of capitalism? What happens to the frogs in the end?
What is humorous about how the concept of the party develops in ch. 20? What decisions do Mack and the boys make? Are these decisions selfless or selfish? Give some examples of dialogue that are particularly funny or effective.
VII. Further Reading
1. National Steinbeck Center: The National Steinbeck Center is located in John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, Calif., a scenic 17-mile drive from Monterey in the heart of Steinbeck Country. The Center offers three distinct visitor experiences in literature and history, agriculture and art, as well special events and educational programs. Link: < http://www.steinbeck.org/>
2. The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies: The only university research archive in the world dedicated solely to John Steinbeck's life and work, the Center promotes Steinbeck's goals of empathy and understanding by supporting education, inquiry, and the literary arts. Link: < http://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/>
4. JohnSteinbeck.com is a tribute to John Steinbeck (1902-1968), a legendary Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning American writer whose name evokes dust bowl-era images of Salinas, Monterey, and migrant farm workers. This site features a bookstore, a shop, a film library, as well as several links of interest. Link: < http://www.johnsteinbeck.com/>
5. The Steinbeck House: John Steinbeck’s birthplace and childhood home; A Restored Victorian Home Now a Charming Luncheon Restaurant. Located at 132 Central Avenue (two blocks west of the National Steinbeck Center) in Salinas, California. The Valley Guild is a non-profit, volunteer organization which has owned and operated the house since 1972. Link: <http://www.steinbeckhouse.com/>
6. Cannery Row Literature Guide: Discover brief discussion techniques of plot, character development and theme employed by Steinbeck in his brief novella, Cannery Row. Link: <http://www.teachervision.fen.com/curriculum-planning/teaching-methods/3421.html>
7. The Cannery Row Foundation Web Site: passion for the historical, literary, sociological, and ecological lessons of “America’s Most Famous Street”. Link: <http://www.canneryrow.org/>
VIII. Works Cited
“American Writers: John Steinbeck”. American Writers. 24 Apr 2011 <http://www.americanwriters.org/writers/steinbeck.asp>
“The Grapes of Wrath: Author Biography.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 1998. eNotes.com. January 2006. 25 July 2011. <http://www.enotes.com/grapes-of-wrath/author-biography>.
“John Steinbeck.” Novel Summaries Analysis. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <http://www.novelexplorer.com/the-grapes-of-wrath/john-steinbeck/>.
“John Steinbeck.” Mibba Articles. 30 May 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://articles.mibba.com/Biographies/4206/John-Steinbeck>.
“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.” rjgeib.com. 21 Apr 2011 <http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/steinbeck/steinbeck.html>.
“John Steinbeck Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.notablebiographies.com/Sc-St/Steinbeck-John.html>.
“Looking Back - John Steinbeck.” CanneryRow.com. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://www.canneryrow.com/john-steinbeck.php>.
“The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962”. Nobelprize.org. 21 Apr 2011 <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1962/>.
Reuben, Paul P. “Chapter 7: John Steinbeck.” PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. 26 Dec 2010. Web. 22 Aug 2011. <http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap7/steinbeck.html>
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Cannery Row.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2011.
Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row. 1945. New York: Penguin, 1992.
“Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.” The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies. 10 Dec. 1962. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/works/index.jsp?val=works_nobel_speech>.