The Grapes of Wrath Online 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 After reading East of Eden, I dove into every Steinbeck book I could find. I set Grapes of Wrath to the side and was almost afraid to read it because I thought it was bound to fall short of the praise I had heard for it. While on vacation last month, I decided it was finally time to read it. Far from being dissapointed, I actually found it more than worthy of the praise. Steinbeck's telling of the Joad family's struggles is a poignant page-turner. It was enough to make me feel guilty for any complaints I have about my own life. The hardships this family (and the thousands of others like them) endured would be enough to break the spirits of those of us living in this comfortable age. The Joads however retained their love and compassion throughout. This book is an absolute must-read. In high school, we were made to read Of Mice and Men, but it would seem to me that this should be the Steinbeck on the required reading list.
Like most people, I first read Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" in high school. It was one of four books that we read in a class called "20th Century Literature." For most of the class, it's very length and breadth made the reading of the book a daunting task. I was the geek in the corner who literally lapped the class, reading the entire book twice in the time that everyone else read it once. Although this isn't my first time to re-read this classic, I was drawn to it this time by all of the correlations that are currently being made in the media between the Great Depression and today's financial crisis. First and foremost, "The Grapes of Wrath" is the quintessential dust bowl ballad of American literature. Steinbeck was able to capture the struggle of the migrant farm worker in 1930s America in a way that makes it not only accessible but also resonant to readers far removed from the events of the novel. In this reading, which is either my third or fourth reading of the book, I can't remember for sure, I was struck more than ever by the power of the expositional or background chapters, which alternate with the narrative chapters on the plight of the Joad family. In his fascinating and informative introduction, Robert DeMott compares these chapters to jazz riffs, which is as appropriate a comparison as I can think of. The writing throughout the book is powerful and moving but, it is in these "interchapters," as Steinbeck called them, that the author really flexes his muscles as a writer. I was also moved by the never ending resolve of the Joad family in the face of what amounts to a constant assault on their human dignity. There is an underlying goodness to most of the characters in the book that, while it may be old fashioned, is a powerful assessment of the ability of human beings to rise to an occasion or at least to band together in defeat. "The Grapes of Wrath," is by no means a happy story and the ending is probably as far from the classic "happy ending" as could be imagined. It is, however, a story that is often moving and at times inspiring. If it's been awhile since you've read it, you should revisit this masterpiece of American literature. If you've never read it, then stop fooling around on the Internet, get yourself a copy of this book and read it.
Brilliant & poignant tale of a family dispossessed of their unproductive land and, critically, their independence. Turning their sights to new lands west in search of farming wages, the family endures brutality and exploitation. Steinbeck writes about themes relevant to the present-day. The repeated dry hot summers renders the family farmland unproductive - a situation unfolding across the world owing to climate change. Inability to adapt will increase environmental refugees. The modern metal tractor brought in for use on the farm did away with farm hands. Increasingly industrialised farming methods in developing nations will contract the unskilled labour market resulting in economic refugees Steinbeck has such compassion for. Exploitation of the Joad family echoes present-day low-skilled seasonal employment, especially indentured labour. Mass unanticipated unemployment and the wake of degragation written in the book has similarities to the financial crisis aftermath - only that there was at least some social safety-nets. However, as Steinbeck professes, there is always a glimmer of hope...
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