John Steinbeck: The Winter of Our Discontent (3688 words)


The story of John Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent revolves around Ethan Allen Hawley, a resident of the New Baytown community near Long Island; he is a former owner of a local grocery store, but his fortunes have recently taken a downturn as his business has been taken over by an Italian immigrant named Marullo who has reduced Ethan’s status to that of a clerk. As the novel develops, Ethan’s reduced situation leads him to desperate measures in order to regain his former social status as a respected citizen instead of an inferior laborer. Initally Ethan considers a bank robbery as a solution, but he soon discovers there are more crafty, less dangerous ways to attain wealth. He eventually decides to use his …

Citation: Meyer, Michael J.. "The Winter of Our Discontent". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2007 [, accessed 24 February 2021.]

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