Another compelling fable by a famous author is Animal Farm. Published in 1945 by George Orwell, this satire is a story about farm animals who attempt to take over a farm and operate it collectively. They chase off the exploitative humans but end up under a dictatorship of pigs. Also published in 1947 was Steinbeck’s novel The Wayward Bus. Like The Pearl, this allegorical tale concerns characters who must shed the evil they have contracted. They are not even as successful as Kino and Juana. Steinbeck again returned to myth when he created the family saga of the Trask family of the Salinas Valley. East of Eden is their story as a modernization of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Steinbeck regarded the novel as his crowning achievement, but his critics have been a bit reluctant to say the same of this overt allegory.
Ernest Hemingway’s short novel of 1952, The Old Man and the Sea, is a story about a Cuban fisherman named Santiago. He has not caught anything for weeks, and then he snags a great big fish. His battle to hold onto the fish leaves him too tired to do anything but tie the fish to the boat. Sharks eat away its flesh leaving him a worthless skeleton and a good story.
Fables have never fallen out of style, but in recent years old tales have been retold according to ideologies, re-translations, or rediscoveries. Angela Carter reworked several fairy tales into a collection called The Bloody Chamber (1979). Her versions of several well-known tales are realistic, feminist, and a heroine replaces the hero.