Since the publication of Tortilla Flat in 1935, Steinbeck's treatment of American landscapes and themes has struck a chord with readers. His novels Of Mice and Men (1937), The Grapes of Wrath (1939), and Cannery Row (1945) were instant critical and popular successes. Each went on to become a feature film, which added to Steinbeck's cultural impact. His works have long endured to earn a place in the canon of American Literature. This book guides readers through these and other important Steinbeck works, particularly those that are most often taught, including The Pearl (1945), The Red Pony (1933), and significant short fiction. Clear analysis of each work includes discussions of character development, plot and setting, thematic treatment, historical contexts, and alternate critical readings. A biographical chapter, as well as an examination of the author's contributions and career, helps readers gain a sense of Steinbeck the man and his position as one of America's most important writers.