Women in Steinbeck: "The Wayward Bus" and "East of Eden"

Publication Year



Literature, John Steinbeck, women, character, literary criticism


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Fiction | Women's Studies


John Steinbeck is considered one of the best writers of the twentieth century. A prolific writer, his numerous short stories and novels express many themes in many locales. Steinbeck is perhaps best known for writing stories set in California's central region, especially in Salinas, his hometown. Steinbeck is also noted for his treatment of female characters. Critic Peter Lisca, asserts Steinbeck has in all his works "only a half dozen unmarried women who are not whores." Brain St. Pierre agrees with Lisca, stating, there are "very few happy relationships between men and women and further, very few sympathetic women other than mothers or whores." Steinbeck does use these particular stereotypes frequently. But, there are exceptions to this stereotype.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing

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