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John Steinbeck has been characterized as having been influenced by the likes of Charles Darwin, the naturalist, author of The Origin of Species, and champion of the theory of evolution. Instead of Romanticism and its highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment of its subjects, Naturalism is the outgrowth of Realism, a prominent literary movement of the late 19th-century.
Naturalistic writers were influenced by Darwin’s theory, in that they believed that one's heredity and surroundings determine one's character. Whereas Realism seeks only to describe subjects as they really are, Naturalism also attempts to scientifically ascertain the underlying forces influencing those subjects' actions.
Based on above he was associated with NATURALISM
choices are Transcendentalist, Contemperary, Romantics, or Modernist