The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of... show more
The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom’s Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book—which takes its title from the first verse: “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s fictional chronicle of the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s is perhaps the most American of American Classics. The Great Books Foundation Discussion Guide for The Grapes of Wrath is available at www.penguinputnam.com and at www.greatbooks.org.
Publish date: January 8th 2002
Pages no: 455
Edition language: English
Not my favorite Steinbeck, but enjoyed it.
The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family after they have lost their tenement farmland in Oklahoma to California where they are told there are jobs waiting for those who are willing to farm the land out there. The book starts out with Tom Joad who is finally paroled from prison. Tom has been dream...
I read 'The Grapes of Wrath' first when I was a teenager. Recently, I re-read it, along with ‘Working Days: the journal of the Grapes of Wrath’, and I could understand this novel a lot better through the perspective of the author. For example, I saw why Steinbeck separated the General Chapters from ...
There has already been a lot said about this book so I will just say that it lives up to the hype that surrounds it.One thing though, who else found themselves speaking as the characters do while reading this novel? I sure did.
It just so happens that I started to watch Ken Burns' Dustbowl just as I finished this book, and contrasting the two approaches is illustrative. It's interesting that Steinbeck makes no mention of the man-made nature of the disaster, even he knew it was man-made. I suspect this is to help further cr...