John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven: an Analysis of Characterization

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dc.contributor.advisor Masiero, Pia it_IT Lazzarotto, Alessia <1996> it_IT 2022-02-20 it_IT 2022-06-22T08:01:33Z 2022-03-23 it_IT
dc.description.abstract The Pastures of Heaven is John Steinbeck’s second published literary work. It was released in 1932 when only few knew the writer’s name: in fact, only seven years later he would become the well-known author of The Grapes of Wrath, one of the greatest American novels. The Pastures of Heaven belongs in the genre of the short story cycle, although the writer himself referred to these individual portraits as “tiny novels”. Primarily, what these stories have in common is the underlying unity of place and the recurring presence of the Munroe family, together with various thematic threads such as the clash between domestic tragedies and the idea of an idyllic life among the pastures. The detailed descriptions of the valley allow the reader to create a virtual map of the place: they are polished and evocative, almost naturalistic. Furthermore, in the stories each character inhabiting this thriving setting is depicted with a distinctive coloring and at times with bitter irony, but these individual frameworks are not independent and self-contained. As a matter of fact, meaning is added when these portraits are read in relationship to one another, forming “an emerging community of co-protagonists” . The following research stems from this premise, as recent works in the field of literary theory have provided new tools to interpret the relationship between the characters and the setting. Studies on description by Mieke Bal and Patricia Hampl, and in-depth analysis on characterization by Ralf Schneider and Uri Margolin have outlined new frameworks for literary analysis that allow a new reading of The Pastures of Heaven. In the first place, this work will gather previous studies on Steinbeck’s text that will facilitate the contextualization of the piece both in its time and in its genre’s guidelines. In fact, Steinbeck’s formal choice for the genre of this literary work cannot pass unnoticed. Short story cycles developed in the context of literary modernism and were also dubbed as “narratives of community” by English Professor Sandra A. Zagarell. Later on, in light of the aforementioned new literary theories, this study will explain how description works as an amplification of characterization and how characters’ hopes and expectations are linked to the setting. Moreover, considering Steinbeck’s interests for early ecology encouraged by his friend Ed Rickett, particular relevance will be given to how he was able to re-create houses and domestic spaces that act as places of synthesis between the characters’ interiority and the land. In conclusion, the aim will be to point out the literary devices that allow the text’s polyphony and the ways in which characters and territory enter one single harmony chorally. it_IT
dc.language.iso en it_IT
dc.publisher Università Ca' Foscari Venezia it_IT
dc.rights © Alessia Lazzarotto, 2022 it_IT
dc.title John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven: an Analysis of Characterization it_IT
dc.title.alternative John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven: an Analysis of Characterization it_IT
dc.type Master's Degree Thesis it_IT Lingue e letterature europee, americane e postcoloniali it_IT Laurea magistrale it_IT Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Culturali Comparati it_IT
dc.description.academicyear 2020/2021 - sessione straordinaria - 7 marzo 2022 it_IT
dc.rights.accessrights closedAccess it_IT
dc.thesis.matricno 864969 it_IT
dc.description.note An analysis of characterization of three short stories from John Steinbeck's short story cycle "The Pastures of Heaven" it_IT it_IT it_IT
dc.subject.language ANGLO-AMERICANO it_IT 10000-01-01
dc.provenance.upload Alessia Lazzarotto (, 2022-02-20 it_IT
dc.provenance.plagiarycheck Pia Masiero (, 2022-03-07 it_IT

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