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The Winter of Our Discontent
     

The Winter of Our Discontent

4.0 51
by John Steinbeck
 

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The final novel of one of America’s most beloved writers—a tale of degeneration, corruption, and spiritual crisis
 
In awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel committee stated that with The Winter of Our Discontent, he had “resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth, with

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The Winter of Our Discontent 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ethan Allen Hawley... Sometimes a character comes along that rings out in your head. He's so identifiable that you almost assume the character was modelled after your own soul. Never mind the fact that the character was created 10 years before you were born, he's you... or maybe you're him. These characters are so real that you forget that the author is the one narrating the story. The author is transparent. The narrator is your own heart, a characterization of yourself. His narration is raw and truthful. The prose may be nearly 50 years old, but it paints a portrait of American life that transcends all the days from this to that. That's Steinbeck's prose. Steinbeck's prose, but Ethan Hawley's words. Ethan is the lead character in Steinbeck's, 'The Winter of Our Discontent.' Ethan is Steinbeck's creation, Ethan is my character. I listen to his thoughts, to the ideas in his head and I recognize them as the thoughts I so often find myself working through. His struggles, his emotions and, indeed, his proposed solutions are a facsimile of the very ones I carry with me. Every man must consider his fate. In your heart, you find your answers, however right or wrong. Ethan found my answers... not that I'm gonna start robbing banks or anything. But, sitting in the Place, out of the wind, seeing under the guardian lights, I find the answers that Ethan found so long before I knew I was looking. 'No nonsense of Madison Avenue then or trimming too many leaves from cauliflowers.' Here, a man can breathe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended this book, said it was one of his favorites, and I can see why. The questions this book raises, about what we will or will not do to better ourselves, and at what cost to others will long be remembered. The ending was not at all what I expected that it would be, and it's moral implications are relevent still today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample is all the publizhing info, dedication, etc. It never even gets to first page of the novel itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is on my list of all time favorites. It moved a long, was very descriptive, and is a book that can be re-read to pick up some of the more subtle things that were missed. It was a deeply moving book, and makes us reflect upon our own lives, and what we will do for love, money and for those who share in our lives. A true classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A powerful novel, with a plot that most can relate to. Ethan Hawley, the main character struggles to provide for his family. Comes from a family of successful business men, until The Great Depression hits his family hard and he must start from the bottom, working as a produce market clerk. He feels that he must own up to his name that has been made by his predecessors. He is confronted by opportunities that question his integrity and common sense. What I like about this novel is that present day situations arise which grabs my attention and makes me think. Ethan, married with two children, thinks of his family first, because all he wants is to give them what he feels they deserve. He would sacrifice his own happiness to make his family happy. I also can relate to how he sometimes feels disappointed by how his life is panning out, but doesn¿t forget all the things he should be grateful for. I strongly recommend this novel to all who love to read. Whether you can relate to it or not, it will make you think, and help you appreciate some things that are taken for granted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Steinbeck's novel is truly a great contribtution to American Literature. A must read! The themes and discussions of the novel are remarkable, offering truth and an accuarate depiction of life.
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Elizabeth_Anderson More than 1 year ago
Ugh. Does anyone else out there think this book might have been Steinbeck at his all time low? It is a book for the sake of writing a book. The struggles are not grounded in any movement particularly, and it is basically all about one family. Other characters become connected through the main character’s humble job, but this book is nothing to write home about. A product I would recommend is Sirens of Morning Light by Benjamin Anderson, a quest for a man in Iowa to regain his identity, which becomes entangled with people who claim to have known him when he discovers he is a scientific experiment. It does not disappoint with a plot that goes nowhere. Much occurs by the end of the story.
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck was the story of Ethan Hawley, and his life in New Baytown as a grocery store clerk. He feels as though he does not live up to the high standard of the name, "Hawley." There is a young temptress, Margie, who tries to steal Ethan away from his gentle wife, Mary. His children, Allen and Ellen, both enter a contest to try and win a trip to Washington D.C. Through a matter of different events, over the span of about three or four months, Allen ends up getting an honorable mention in the essay. After reading part of his essay, Ethan sees that none of the words are of his son's own creation. Allen tells his father that it is because all men cheat and lie,why would this matter? After the guilt that Ethan feels over the span of the novel, he is ready to end it all, but can his daughter change his mind? This novel conveys the same common theme as in any Steinbeck novel, which is the hopelessness of a man's dreams. Overall, this book was well-written and very interesting, but just a little bit confusing from time to time. If a person were to read a Steinbeck book, I would definitely recommend this, or Of Mice and Men, both are very excellent novels,with very similar themes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brownie808 More than 1 year ago
I had read this book in high school, but didn't really get into Steinbeck until a few years later. Going back and rereading this was enlightening. although the book takes place 50 years ago, many of the moral struggles and themes are just as present, if not more so, in our society today. I love Steinbeck's writing generally, casual in tone but still very rich.
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The Winter of Our Discontent is one of my favorites from Steinbeck. Like all of his many other novels, it displays a great message, and describes the time period and emotion/feelings shared during the era. The book takes place in New Baytown (fictitous name) New York, during the 1950's, a time period of well, discontent. During a lessening of values and standards. He paints a bleek portrait of the world and how the main character Ethan, and many others are in a constant stuggle of the corruption of New Baytown. Ethan struggles to provide for his family, and his wife whom is tired of their social standing, a son Allen and a daughter Ellen, both of whom are displayed as lacking morals throughout the book. The title of this novel displays the book very accuratly and blantly. The Winter of Our Discontent, a time of sadness and unhappiness with life and in Ethans case, striving to better himself and help his family. At one point in the book, Ethan is presented with an opportunity, that has practacly landed in his lap, when his old friend Danny Taylor (the town drunk) dies and leaves Ethan everything he had, including his home, which is sitting on land in which a buisness man intends to build an airport. This gives Ethan the opportunity to bargain and he become a major figure in the towns eyes. On the other hand Ethan does not want to lose himself in the corruption of New Baytown and the other buisness men in it. Throughout the novel Ethan wanders the steets of New Baytown at night contemplating his life, and the opportunities or lack there of that are presented to him. Like many of Steinbecks other books, we are left with no clear ending really. We are left with Ethans future in doubt. Steinbecks way of writing once again appears clear in this novel, with impeccable description, the literally ties you in with the novel and make you understand and FEEL the characters emotions and just the plain feeling of the era and entire book. Steinbeck has once again produced an excellent novel that reflexes and questions entitlement, values/morals, and above all how far one man is willing to go.
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