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You are watching: What are the geographical features of the salinas valley in california



man Steinbeck crafted plenty of of his stories and novels about settings in the Salinas Valley, a significant area of north California. After ~ all, Steinbeck to be born and raised in Salinas. Of Mice and Men is collection at a ranch not numerous miles from the small town of Soledad. In the...


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John Steinbeck crafted many of his stories and also novels roughly settings in the Salinas Valley, a influential area of north California. After ~ all, Steinbeck to be born and also raised in Salinas. Of Mice and also Men is collection at a ranch not many miles native the small town that Soledad. In the opened chapter he defines the place where George and Lennie protect against on their means to job-related at a ranch. It is up against the Gabilan Mountains, which provide the eastern border that the valley, and below these hills is the Salinas River:

On one next of the flow the gold foothill slopes curve approximately the solid rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined v trees—willows fresh and also green v every spring, moving in their reduced leaf junctures the debris of the winter flooding; and sycamores v mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches the arch end the pool.

This tranquil little spot is featured in both thing One and also the final chapter of Steinbeck"s novella, yet there is otherwise very small description of the valley in Of Mice and Men. In contrast, Steinbeck spends most of chapter One (and in part of various other chapters) of his later on (and quite maybe his best) novel East the Eden explicate the valley. That is few of his best writing and also it is straightforward to gain a an excellent feel for the location of the Salinas valley by reading the opening chapter that the novel i m sorry fictionally speak the story that his family members in Salinas and surrounding areas. He opens the chapter depicting the river, the mountains and the wealthy farmland:

It is a long narrow swale between two varieties of mountains, and the Salinas river winds and twists up its center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay...The floor that the Salinas Valley, between the ranges and below the foothills, is level due to the fact that this valley used to be the bottom the a hundred mile inlet indigenous the sea...On the large level acres of the sink the topsoil place deep and also fertile. It compelled only a rich winter that rain to make it rest forth in grass and also flowers.

Steinbeck also helps united state to recognize the name of the places, mostly taken native the Spanish who began exploring the land beginning in the 16th century. Follow to Steinbeck the places were named for geographical features, animals and birds:

Gabilanes because that the hawks which flew in those mountains; Topo because that the mole; Los Gatos because that the wild cats. The suggestions periodically came native the nature of the place itself: Tassajara, a cup and a saucer; Laguna Seca, a dried lake; Corral de Tierra because that a fence of earth; Paraiso because it was prefer Heaven.



Steinbeck is an extremely detailed in his explicate of the lush Salinas Valley. In act so, he presents us with an virtually Edenic portrait the this part of the world, which stands in stark contrast to the racism and economic exploitation that on regular basis takes ar there.

Steinbeck"s explanation of the herbal landscape yes, really couldn"t be much more inviting. The water is warm, and also slips "twinkling" over the yellow sands in the sunlight prior to reaching the narrow pool. Top top one side of the Salinas river there room "golden" foothill slopes curving as much as the "strong and also rocky" Gabilan Mountains. On the other side of the river, the valley side, the water is lined with lush eco-friendly willows and sycamores with white, mottled limbs the arch end the pool.

Even top top the sandy financial institution there"s lot lush vegetation. In ~ the trees there are deep bushes of crisp leaves which "skitter"—move quickly—whenever a lizard runs out of them. In the cool of the evening, hare come out of these bushes and sit top top the sand. The sand flats are also marked by the night monitor of raccoons, and also the paw prints of dog from the ranch, which have presumably been sent to hunt them.

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The Salinas sink is located in main California. It is component of what is thought about the seaside region yet the sink itself lines in between two hill ranges, the Gabilan and also the Santa Lucia. The Gabilan hills are stated in the first chapter that "Of Mice and also Men". Known as the "America"s Salad Bowl", the valley is currently known for crops such as strawberries,lettuce, celery and also spinach. Barley, i m sorry is mentioned in the novel, is still grown in the Salinas Valley but not come the level that the was once the novel to be written. The climate is right for farming vegetables due to the fact that the winter is mild compared to winters more north. Steinbeck"s novel "East of Eden" is also collection in the Salinas Valley whereby John Steinbeck flourished up.



The Salinas Valley lies follow me the Salinas River, and also the longest underground river in the world, stretching 155 miles. This valley is in between the Gabalin Ranges and also San Lucia selection and touches parts of Monterey county. In the southern component of California, the rich, irrigated land has actually earned the name "America"s Salad Bowl" together lettuce and other vegatables such together tomatoes, artichokes, broccoli, aculiflower, celery, and also spinach room grown in there. Of course, many migrant workers are employed in this productive valley