Title

John Steinbeck's Populist Aesthetic

Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

William Watson

Advisor Department

English

Abstract

Throughout his career, John Steinbeck maintained a consistent philosophical approach to his writing, a range of stylistic techniques designed to appeal to the middle class bulk of his readership and intended to define the function of myth, and especially nationalistic myth, in the lives of individuals and communities. His resulting populist aesthetic uses oral effects and characteristics, Popular Front rhetoric and concepts, anti-fascist allegory, and subjective journalism to define myth and nationhood as ever-evolving, nonteleological forms.