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John Steinbeck Trivia

John Steinbeck Trivia Quizzes

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John Steinbeck (1902-1958) was an American author who set much of his work in Californian, specifically the Salinas Valley. His citation for the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature read, in part, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception."
27 John Steinbeck quizzes and 378 John Steinbeck trivia questions.
  John Steinbeck Fiction   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Must be some reason I got a BA in literature . . . yes, to write trivia! Can you name the novel described in each question written by one of America's greatest writers ?
Average, 15 Qns, sedgewick, Sep 21 10
2385 plays
  Steinbeck's Cannery Row   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
This quiz deals with one of John Steinbeck's great 'little books', the bittersweet 'Cannery Row'. How much do you know about Mack and The Boys?
Average, 15 Qns, yurkletam, Feb 23 19
Feb 23 19
1231 plays
  The Moon Is Down    
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
John Steinbeck wrote "The Moon Is Down" as propaganda during World War II to encourage people to fight against the Nazis. Though not Steinbeck's most famous writing project, this novel introduces us to interesting characters who still speak to us today.
Average, 20 Qns, mazeface, Dec 09 16
434 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Lennie loves to touch and feel soft things. But this got him into trouble. He accidentally kills someone, who?

From Quiz "Of Mice and Men"

Related Topics
  Contemporary Literature and Fiction [Literature] (22 quizzes)

John Steinbeck Trivia Questions

1. The imaginary town of "The Moon Is Down" is set in what country?

From Quiz
The Moon Is Down

Answer: Norway

As a reporter during World War II, Steinbeck wrote "The Moon Is Down" as a piece of propaganda to show people how to handle Nazi occupation. It was translated into many languages and distributed throughout Europe. The name of the town is not given, but it is generally agreed that the country is Norway.

2. What was the name of the 'great roofed room' that was home to Mack and 'the boys'?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: The Palace Flophouse and Grill

Mack managed to finangle the building, originally a storage place for fish meal, from grocer Lee Chong after it was given to him to repay the grocery debts of owner Horace Abbeville. Horace shot himself in the shed immediately after the transaction with Lee Chong.

3. In this novel, the Joad children are flabbergasted by the workings of a modern toilet.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: The Grapes of Wrath

In the government camp, the Joad kids think they've broken a toilet--all that water rushing down!

4. "They hurry toward their destiny as though it would not wait. They push the rolling world along with their shoulders." Who said this?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Doctor Winter

Doctor Winter discusses the Nazi occupation with Joseph. The Doctor is not a town official, but he is the historian and a close friend of Mayor Orden.

5. What was the name of the proprietor, 'a great big woman with flaming orange hair', of the local whorehouse?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Dora Flood

The character Dora Flood, a 'madam and call girl for fifty years', was based on the legendary madam Flora Woods. In Cannery Row, Dora ran The Bear Flag restaurant, in honour of California. In real life, Flora, who had been 'run and been run out of' houses of prostitution since the early 1900s, named her establishment The Lone Star Cafe for her husband, a Texas native.

6. The sequel to Cannery Row.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: Sweet Thursday

The movie 'Cannery Row' is drawn more from 'Sweet Thursday' than the novel 'Cannery Row'.

7. What is the name of Mayor Orden's servingman (butler)?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Joseph

The first chapter gives a description of Joseph's position: "In a world where Mayor Orden was the leader of men, Joseph was the leader of furniture, silver, and dishes."

8. What was the nickname of the whiskey - 'Guaranteed four months old, very cheap' on sale at Lee Chong's that was a favourite among Cannery Row locals?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Old Tennis Shoes

The actual name of the whiskey was 'Old Tennessee', which kind of rhymes with 'Old Tennis Shoes'. I shudder to think of the taste, but as usual, Steinbeck still manages to make the mundane (even, in this case I fear, the rancid) somehow appealing. I wouldn't say no to a drop of Old Tennis Shoes with the boys!

9. In this novel, an infant is stung by a scorpion.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: The Pearl

10. How many soldiers from the town are killed when the Nazis invaded?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: six

The town's small army, which had not seen invasion in a long time, did not stand a chance against the Nazis. "The machine guns clattered for a moment and six of the soldiers became dead riddled bundles and three half-dead riddled bundles, and three of the soldiers escaped into the hills with their rifles."

11. Doc was based on one of John Steinbeck's real-life good friends, a marine biologist. What was his name?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Edward Ricketts & Ricketts & Ed Ricketts

John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts were best friends from 1930 (when John moved to Pacific Grove, CA) until Ricketts' death in 1948 when his car was hit by a train. Steinbeck, who was deeply fascinated by science, wrote of his friend in 'The Log of The Sea of Cortez': 'His mind had no horizons. He was interested in everything.' Steinbeck also immortalised Ricketts in Casy ('Grapes of Wrath'), Lee (the philosophical Chinaman in 'East of Eden') and another Doc ('In Dubious Battle').

12. In this novel, one character advises another on the best method to shoot an old dog.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: Of Mice and Men

George later uses this advice to shoot Lennie.

13. Where does Colonel Lanser request he and his staff stay while they occupy the town?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: in the mayor's mansion

In the Mayor's mansion, the Colonel meets with the the town's mayor and asks, "Would it be possible for me and my staff to stay here?" Though the Mayor offers larger accomdations, he is told that the town will be more peaceful if the invading army's staff stay with the local authority. This, of course, proves false. The Colonel and his staff make headquarters in the upstairs rooms of the mansion.

14. What does Steinbeck say a man once called the inhabitants of Cannery Row?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Whores, Pimps, Gamblers and Sons of Bitches

They most certainly were all these things, according to Steinbeck, but he added that, had the man 'looked through another peephole, he might have said 'Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men', and he would have meant the same thing.'

15. Set in New England, the main character contemplates suicide at the end of this one.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: The Winter of Our Discontent

In my reading of the novel, he doesn't do it . . . 'lest another light might go out.' A fabulous last line!

16. Who of Colonel Lanser's staff was an engineer?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Major Hunter

Major Hunter is described as one who "set his men in rows like figures and he added and subtracted and multiplied them." He is not a leader of men as much as he is an "arithmetician."

17. What bizarre drink concoction could Doc not get out of his head until he finally forced himself to try it?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Beer milkshake

Doc, a lover of the suds, was told by a friend one day: 'You love beer so much, I'll bet some day you'll go in and order a beer milkshake.' The idea nauseated Doc, but he couldn't get it out of his head. When he finally tried it, he reckoned it 'just tasted like stale milk and beer'. Mmmm mmmmm.

18. Steinbeck's short novel set in a small village during German occupation in World War II.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: The Moon is Down

One of the few Steinbeck novels set outside of the United States.

19. Who is the traitor that gave the Nazis a list of townspeople who had guns?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: George Corell

Corell held an innocent shooting-match with the people of the town with the true motive of making a list of those who had firearms. He gave the list to the Nazis before the invasion. To explain himself to the Mayor, Corell says, "I work for what I believe in! That is an hornorable thing."

20. What is the name of one of Mack's 'boys' whose mother was so tired and confused by the rigours of childbirth (he was her eighth in as many years) that she gave him a girl's name?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Hazel

21. In this novel, one of the main characters tries to win the approval and love of his father through the purchasing of War agriculture futures.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: East of Eden

Cal invests in beans. . . Cain and Abel all over again . . .

22. In chapter 2, a man from the town kills one of the Nazi officers. Who was the officer?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Captain Bentick

One of the town's miners, Alexander Morden, attacked Captain Loft with his pick. Captain Bentick interfered and was killed.

23. What is it that Mack and The Boys go hunting for so they can raise enough money to throw a party for Doc?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Frogs

The frogs were to be sold for research.

24. One of two Steinbeck short story collections set mostly in the agricultural communities of California.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: The Pastures of Heaven

The Long Valley is the other collection.

25. "A light in the daytime is a lonely thing." Who said this?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Mayor Orden

Waiting for Alexander's trial to begin, a cloud darkens the sky. Mayor Orden turns on a lamp, switches it off, and then makes this statement. Throughout "The Moon Is Down" symbolism in light and darkness is used to gauge the decaying morale of the people of the town.

26. What was the name of Mack's pup?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: Darling

The dog was given to Mack by 'The Captain', a lonely ex-serviceman who caught Mack and the boys camping on his property. Mack fixed up Darling's mother, who had a tick on her, and the grateful Captain got everyone - most especially himself - absolutely hammered.

27. The main character's 'godly' tree is girdled by his brother in this one.

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: To a God Unknown

. . . a brother is trying to thwart another's Pagan beliefs . . .

28. What is the name of the wife of the man who was executed for killing the Nazi officer?

From Quiz The Moon Is Down

Answer: Molly

Molly Morden is a character used to show that the people of this town will fight for their freedon. She kills one of the Nazi officials with cutting shears. Annie is the cook. The other names are made up.

29. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Malloy lived where?

From Quiz Steinbeck's Cannery Row

Answer: In a boiler

The pair were so content living in the boiler, which had been discarded by the Hediondo Cannery, until Mrs Malloy decided she wanted curtains for their snug little home. 'For Christ's sake what are we going to do with curtains?', Mr Malloy explodes. 'We got no windows!' Mrs Malloy sobs uncontrollably, saying that men never understand how women feel. Guess you don't need to live in a boiler to figure that one out...

30. Steinbeck's first published novel includes events of Piracy. What was the title?

From Quiz John Steinbeck Fiction

Answer: Cup of Gold

. . . Steinbeck came a long way after that one!

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