Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The purpose of this essay is to trace the development of the concept of mysticism from selected early works of John Steinbeck to its culmination in the novel the Grapes of Wrath. The works to be discussed are the following: The Features of Heaven, To a God Unknown, In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, The Grapes of Wrath, and Sea of Cortez. Such a study requires, a basic, historical knowledge in two other areas. The first involves a familiarity with Oriental specifically Hindu, mystical beliefs; the second, the early backgrounds of mysticism in American literature as expressed in the transcendentalist movement. Finally, since it is generally agreed that application in a classroom situation lends a practical value to a work of this sort, the material gathered will be used in the teaching of the novel the Grapes of Wrath to two sections of freshman English, and the results of this endeavor will constitute the final goal of this project.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968 -- Criticism and interpretation


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University