A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Salinas, California

On the literary map, travel from Indian Creek, Texas, to Salinas, California.


# _____________ Miles to Salinas, California.

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Salinas, California

Visit John Steinbeck at NobelPrize.org

Read "Flight" and answer the questions.

Describe three impressions that you get of the Torres family life from the first few paragraphs. Support each impression with details from the story.

What admirable qualites do you find in Mama Torres?

At the beginning of the story Pepe is described as "fragile" and "lazy." How are his appearance and behavior different when he returns from Monterey?

How does Pepe's behavior during his flight support his mother's ideas of what changes a boy into a man?

Is the story more, or less, interesting because you never see the pursuers or know anything about them?

What is the first indication of real danger?

How does Pepe's gradual shedding of his father's possessions parallel the increasing hopelessness of his situation?

How doe Pepe's flight resemble that of an animal?

What does he do during his flight to retain his dignity as a human being?

Does the ending of the story satisfy you? Why or why not?

Travels with Steinbeck:

To see America personally, John Steinbeck traveled with his poodle Charley around the United States. Travels with Charley: Search of America is a travelogue documents the driving trip and answers many questions he had going into his journey - the main one being "What are Americans like today?". Steinbeck started his travels in Long Island, New York, outlined the border of the United States, going all throughout the North, through the Pacific Northwest, down into his native Salinas Valley, across to Texas, up through the Deep South, and then back to New York. His whole trip encompassed nearly 10,000 miles. Many people today read his popular book and replicate his trip. Here is an interactive map one.