"Breakfast" John Steinbeck Analysis Essay

1134 Words Nov 12th, 2011 5 Pages

“A merry heart goes on all day

The sad tires in a mile” (William Shakespeare)

John Steinbeck, an American author and winner of the Nobel Prize, was a leading writer of novels about the working class and was a major spokesman for the victims of the Great Depression. Steinbeck is widely known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and the novella Of Mice and Men.

In the following short story, the author tells us about a poor, yet united family of cotton pickers who invited him in to share breakfast together.
The text presents a piece of first person narration interwoven with the descriptions of nature, short lines and character descriptions united into one complete logical part.
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An interesting detail about the images of men is that the author does not tell us directly that the two men are related, instead he uses several parallel constructions to make us guess that this is father and son: ...new blue dungarees...and in new dungaree coats; they were...and they looked; the younger had a dark stubble beard...the older had a grey stubble beard. Another feature is that they are men of few words, which shows us that they are truly the men of deeds.

In the way all the characters are presented, we can say that the author feels deep sympathy for them. He sees them as simple, hospitable people, stating that though they are poor – they are morally strong. The author makes us feel their unity through the use of pronouns: we, they; numeral: both; and adverb: together.

The color and light in the story can be called the supporting characters, since they accompany the main events of the story. Plus they help to render the feeling of early morning and invite the reader to become part of the main events. Here the role of adjectives and epithets cannot be left out: the grey smoke; dancing reflections; orange fire; lavender grey of dawn; washed red; pure night ;reddish gleam.

The narrator plays and interesting role in the story. First, he appears as an outside observer, but later he becomes the participant of the events. The narrator is a guide to the readers into the

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