Len's Reviews > The Winter of Our Discontent

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
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's review
Jan 15, 2009

really liked it

I enjoyed "The Winter of Our Discontent" although for me it doesn't come close to my favorite Steinbeck novel, "East of Eden." Still, it's similar in that it's a morality tale, albeit a much more cynical one. Steinbeck has written Ethan Allen Hawley as a man at a crossroads during a time in America when nothing seems to make sense anymore. To Steinbeck, America and maybe the entire world has lost its moral compass by 1960 and maybe he was correct. The cynic in me thinks the world has only gotten worse in the past 50 years and Steinbeck would be even more discouraged had he lived to witness the likes of Nixon and George W. Bush.

I will say that I don't particularly like this older Steinbeck when compared to the hopeful Steinbeck of East of Eden and the fighter for the common man Steinbeck of The Grapes of Wrath. The Winter of Our Discontent portrays a world that I think Steinbeck thinks has not lived up to its promise. Still, there is the promise of a brighter future in the end -- which is classic Steinbeck.

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