The Smart Way to Deal with Your The Grapes of Wrath Essay
Publication date: April 14, 1939
Сharacters: Tom Joad, Ma Joad, Pa Joad, Uncle John, Jim Casy, Al Joad, Rose of Sharon, etc.
Based on: The novel is based on the struggles of farmers and other workers through the Great Depression and their attempts to survive the lack of jobs and starvation.
Symbols: Pregnancy, the death of Joad's dog, Christian imagery, etc.
Influence: Steinbeck used Sanora Babb's notes on the lives and experiences of work migrants that later turned into her novel Whose Names Are Unknown. The Grapes of Wrath is considered a development of Steinback's series of articles, The Harvest Gypsies, published in San Francisco News in 1936.
Plot: The novel follows Tom Joad, a recent parolee, who joins his family on a trip from their foreclosed farm in Oklahoma to California, where they hope to find jobs to survive. Throughout the cross-country journey, the family loses many members, and their life in California is ripe with exploitation and starvation. Yet, despite their struggles, they continue to survive and stay together.
Steinback struggled to develop a suitable title for the novel, and his wife, Carol, suggested The Grapes of Wrath.
The book is often referred to as the Great American Novel. It is one of the most discussed works of American Literature.
The novel was written off as "communist propaganda" by those not depicted favorably in the book, including Californian farmers.
Some critics consider the Joad family's trip to California as a reversal of the slaves' exodus from Egypt.
The first movie adaptation of the book came out in 1940, starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad.
"There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do."
"How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?"
"The quality of owning freezes you forever in "I" and cuts you off forever from the "we."
"Death was a friend, and sleep was Death's brother."
"Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man."
"How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other."
Why this topic is important: The novel remains relevant in the 21st century, as millions face the same struggles as the Joad family, trying to survive and keep their children fed. In addition, Steinbeck highlights cruelty and exploitation, which remain a problem in many parts of the world.
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- Disillusionment of the American Dream in The Grapes of Wrath
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