Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The purpose of this study is to provide the reader, particularly the undergraduate, with an aid for studying John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle. In the course of this theses these four themes, namely, the phalanx theory, the concept of leadership and of ownership, and non-teleological thought, are examined first in Steinbeck’s writing in general, and then in novel In Dubious Battle in particular. Because the reader, including the undergraduate student of literature, usually does not have the time to read more than two or possibly three works by a given author, he may not be able to establish the relative worth of recurring themes if he is aware of them at all. The first of the four themes to be examine dis the phalanx theory. Chapter IV examines the recurring theme of leadership. Again, Steinbeck provided the most explicit statement of his concept of leadership in The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Ownership is the theme discussed in Chapter V. There are several variation of this theme in Steinbeck’s writing. The fourth and last thematic approach to be considered in this study is Steinbeck’s apparent preference for non-teleology as opposed to teleology. Before proceeding to discussion of criticism of Steinbeck’s works, the reader should be knowledgeable of the terminology that is peculiar to that criticism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968. In dubious battle


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University