Download The Grapes of Wrath PDF by John Steinbeck Click Here to Download the Book John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family and a nation in search of work and human dignity. Perhaps the most American of American classics. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignity and a future. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects]." The book won Steinbeck a large following among the working class, perhaps due to the book's sympathy to the workers' movement and its accessible prose style. The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.
Reviews I did not read this in school, so it was all new to me. What a wonderful find. The writing was fantastic. I have always shied away from Steinbeck since high school - too depressing - but although it is a very intense and depressing book, there is so much beauty in it - wow. I dog-eared many pages (sorry library) so that I could come back and re-read paragraphs and sentences that just shouted to me. I loved the initial description of the mother and I loved her even more as the story went on. When the boys described their father crapping a "litter of lizards" if he found out about something, I laughed out loud. So many issues to ponder and discuss in terms of agriculture and big business. So sickening and sad, yet undoubtedly still going on today. I couldn't and still can't get a lot of what i read out of my mind - every time I eat a meal, I think about where the food came from, who got it to my table, who went hungry so I can eat... So much to consider in terms of sacrifice and the risks and extremes you will go to for a dream. Then there are ideas to think about regarding self-managment vs overbearing authority... ah the list goes on. I need to have someone close to me read this so we can sit down and talk it out.
Second reading of The Grapes of Wrath and little has changed in my view of it: it's quite simply a perfect novel. The characterisation is, by some distance, the high point. Each character is so rounded and fully formed you get a perfect understanding of them; their fears and motivations, dreams and aspirations. The Joad family are obviously at the heart of this, with each member taking a different role (Tom as the moral, strong-willed man, Al as the reckless youth beginning to realise his wider responsibilities, Ma as the matriach, carrying the family throughout.) It's the minor characters that also play a significant role, however, especially 'Rosasharn'; her role in the denouement might just be the saddest thing I've ever read. Some criticism of the novel seems to be aimed at the philosophical sections; but I love these too, as they allow for the universality of the text's morality to be illuminated even further.
Wow, talk about a difficult, nerve-shredding, poignant classic! This was a very hard book to read, but it has so much relevance to the current political and social climate. It's a very interesting study of the plight of the migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, as well as a look at mob mentality, the power of collective groups, and the absurdity of certain aspects of modern capitalism and consumerism. Another reviewer mentioned that there seems to be a trend among reviews of this book: high schoolers who've had this as required reading tend to give it poor reviews and few stars. Adults who've read this, with a broader experience and perspective, tend to give it very good reviews. I very much agree that this is not really a book for teenagers. My hunch is that there are few teens out there who are really ready for a book like The Grapes of Wrath. However, it should definitely be on the must-read list for any adult interested in great literature and the
great social struggles of our times. The book has a lovely rhythm to the language, dense with symbolism (though not so much as some might think), and a well-thought-out use of the vernacular. I read it fairly slowly (for me), given the amount of thought that I wanted to put in to each section. It's a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. I'm so glad that I finally took the time to read it!
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