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Steinbeck Google Doodle Celebrates 122nd Birthday in Literary Style

Today marks John Steinbeck’s 122nd birthday (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) and Google honors the day with an impressive Steinbeck Google Doodle with literary quotes from five of his major works. Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl and Travels with Charley are the selected books. Had to record this Steinbeck Google Doodle as is one of my favorite authors.

The Steinbeck Google Doodle uses three panels for each book. The first is the book’s cover followed by two panels of quotes. The initial search page displays thumbnails of all five books.

Steinbeck is one of the best American writers, his books are studied in schools at all levels of education. Much of his noted works captured the American spirit during the Great Depression. The first three books in the Doodle are among those. The Grapes of Wrath won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1940, the year following its publishing. Steinbeck also won a Nobel Prize in 1962.

The John Steinbeck Google Doodle

Steinbeck Google Doodle

John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath Images
“The Grapes of Wrath is set in the Great Depression and describes a family of sharecroppers, the Joads, who were driven from their land due to the dust storms of the Dust Bowl. The title is a reference to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Some critics found it too sympathetic to the workers’ plight and too critical of capitalism but it found quite a large audience in the working class,” Wikipedia notes.

Steinbeck Google Doodle

Steinbeck Google Doodle

John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row
Cannery Row is set in Monterey, California during the Depression and is not the idyllic beachfront setting it is today. The characters of the novel want to do something nice for Doc, a man who was always doing things for others. Unfortunately the party gets out of control and Doc’s things get ruined. Interestingly the actual street was renamed Cannery Row after the novel came out.

Steinbeck's Cannery Row

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Another classic of things going wrong – the title taken from the Robert Burns’ poem that gave us “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry”. Lenny and George are migrant workers who encounter problems at the ranch they are working on. Lenny is simple minded and by accident breaks the neck of the farmer’s wife who was flirting with him. In an act of compassion George kills Lenny – an action later used to same effect in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s The Pearl
This classic novella explores desperation – the desperation of a family trying to find some simple peace and health, and the desperation of greed. When the pearl is found, it becomes the source of everyone’s attention and desire. Intended to help Kino get medical attention for his son – a surprise find and answer to the family’s prayers, or so they think. Once everyone tries to claim the prize, trouble ensues and while running away Kino’s son is killed. The pearl is eventually thrown back in to the sea.

Steinbeck's The Pearl

John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley
This is a travelogue of Steinbeck’s journeys with his dog, Charley, in 1960. Just 8 years before he died, this work explores Steinbeck’s regrets and insights on his rich and diverse life.

Steinbeck's Travels With Charley

Steinbeck Google Doodle Celebrates 122nd Birthday in Literary Style by

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