In Travels with Charley, author John Steinbeck often refers to the different regions he’s driving through as having their own “entity-. His comments on these different entities are tied into his idea of regional and local culture, rather than a national one that blurs the distinctions and diversities that construct the American culture. Steinbeck comments “There are customs, attitudes, myths and directions and changes that seem to be part of the structure of America. And I propose to discuss them as they were first thrust on my attention- (44). It seems he is preparing us for a deliberation about fighting the forces that are blending American society into one single stereotype. .
When Steinbeck reaches Deer Isle, he is quickly struck with this thought, “One doesn’t have to be sensitive to feel the strangeness of Deer Isle- (41). Steinbeck talks of Deer Isle as though it is a magical place, an “Avalon-. He is very rarely short for words, but when describing this “island that nestles like a suckling against the breast of Main-, he feels he cannot come close to describing its tranquility, only being there a mere 2 days. He describes the people there as being “secret people, and perhaps magic people-. Whenever he tries to distinguish the something that is so different about this place, he can find an example of that something elsewhere. Perhaps this is why he finds it so difficult to convey his feeling of a magical tranquility to the reader. .
Steinbeck gives us an example of how all of our states are their own individual:.
We know, of course, that each of our states is an individual and proud of it. Not content with their names, they take descriptive titles also “the Empire State, the Garden State, the Granite State “titles proudly born and little given to understatement. But now for the first time I became aware that each state has also its individual prose style, made sharply evident in its highway signs.