John Steinbeck, “The Murder”

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Steinbeck’s short story “The Murder” first appeared in The North American Review in April 1934, and, despite its relatively obscure status today, it won the O. Henry award for best short fiction the same year. It was later included in the collection entitled The Long Vaclley in 1938. Like several other stories in this volume, including “The Chrysanthemums”, “The White Quail”, and “The Harness”, “The Murder” depicts a marriage that is unequal and restrictive and which eventually is broken by an act of violence. In short, it is a depressing tale of how divergent cultures and ethnic traditions impact gender roles and sexual expectations.

The setting is the Canon del Castillo in Monterey County,…

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Citation: Meyer, Michael J.. "“The Murder”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2008 [, accessed 31 March 2023.]

25829 “The Murder” 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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