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Word Count: 859
n 1960 John Steinbeck decided to reacquaint himself with America after being away because in his own words Ive lost the flavor and taste and sound of it Im going to learn about my own country So he set out on a 3 month journey with his dog to do just that Along the way he met people and made conversation observed the state of the country and let his mind wander as he made his journey Then he returned to his mobile cabin at night and recorded the days events These journal entries became Travels with Charley Overall Steinbeck seems to paint a pretty picture While driving through New England in the fall he is taken with the brilliant foliage on display He is much impressed with Wisconsin and says about Montana I am in love For other states I have admiration respect recognition even some affection but with Montana it is love Later Steinbeck also speaks glowingly of the California Redwoods Steinbeck also has nice things to say about the American people - sometimes He notes that midwesterners are openly friendly and again praises Montana for its inhabitants had timeto undertake the passing art of neighborliness However interspersed throughout his journey Steinbeck encounters many things which are not so delightful In fact some were quite upsetting He talks of waste - American cities are like badger holes ringed with trash - and of miserable people - some people can drain off energy and joy can suck pleasure dry and get no sustenance from it They spread a grayness in the air about them This was his opinion of a waitress Steinbeck had just met in Maine And the waitress wasnt the only one Along his journey he met many close-minded opinionated bigoted and rascist Americans and it made for depressing reading I dont think Steinbeck was quite prepared for it I believe he had an idealized vision
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