The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

Book - 1992
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Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 1992
ISBN: 9780141185064
Branch Call Number: STUDY ENGLISH GRAPES
Characteristics: xlvii, 476 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: DeMott, Robert J. 1943-

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a
ansleighseaver
Jul 30, 2020

2020 couldn't be a better year to read or (re-read) The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck's themes of family, death, environmental stewardship, and our collective responsibility towards other humans surround us everyday. On the Joad's journey, all they have is their family and they must rely on each other for survival until they reach California. Once there, it is clear that in order to survive they must band with the other migrants to ensure a future. Steinbeck's ideas of a collective society and responsibility is more relevant now than ever as we fight Covid-19.
The theme of environmental stewardship and conservation is most poignant in the chapter about the farmers allowing fruit to rot on the trees and dumping it in the river. Steinbeck somehow predicted that mass farming and agriculture would lead to unprecedented waste and lack of food access, paradoxically.
This has been one of my favorite books since high school and I was amazed at how even more relevant it has become.

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IshaanGupta30
Jul 24, 2020

This novel is set during the Great Depression and focuses on the Joads. The Joads are a poor farming family who are moving from Oklahoma to California in search of a stable job. The family faces a lot of challenges in order to survive and stay together. Without much money, the family decides to move from the East to the West only because they are hopeful that they will be able to make a living, however things don’t quite go their way.
John Steinbeck does a fabulous job explaining the situation of the migrant farmers during the Great Depression. With a lot of serious topics and themes in the novel, there are characters, like Grampa Joad, who are a great comic relief. The theme of belonging is persistent throughout the novel and teaches a lot about the sense of belonging a person needs. The journey of Joads is one that deserves to be read.

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xinlu2001us
Jul 13, 2020

Grapes of Wrath is a classic Steinbeck novel. It is perhaps one of the most influential of American classic novels. Steinbeck’s narrative of the Joads family in the midst of the Dust Bowl migration uses biblical illusions that make a strong and empowering socialist statement. This novel reflects the political and economic crises and the controversies of the era and portrays the strength of mankind to endure them all.

d
donnamo
Apr 12, 2020

This book is as well-written and gripping as the rest of Steinbeck's books. i just found it to be unrelentingly, depressing.

g
green_penguin_484
Jan 17, 2020

Great book. Don’t really remember all that much what it was about. I read it over a period of 7 months (July 2019- January 2020), so it would probably be good if I reread this. *2020*

m
Mama2_3
Apr 21, 2019

I wasn’t “forced” to read this in school. Instead, I chose to read it now and I’m very glad I did. It’s an emotional investment to read this book. Unfortunately, much of the book still rings true today. The working poor who have no power are trampled on by those greedy to make a profit. Steinbeck's greatest strength is characterization. He is able to realistically portray the emotional lives and thoughts of characters of all kinds. Steinbeck’s beliefs that the value of every human life and the dignity of a person are more important than corporate and personal greed and lust for power are woven throughout the novel. The Grapes of Wrath is rightly considered a timeless classic.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Apr 07, 2019

I re-read this title to enhance my understanding of the current staging of Mother Road at OSF. Wow. Just soooo good. I don't think I realized as a younger person reading this just what a compelling indictment of capitalism this was.

w
whatcomhillwalker
Jan 30, 2019

I can remember staying up all night reading this the first time in Junior High. Hot damn what a story. What glory. What heroes! Citizens forced to become migrants taking on the system with hope. Way too familiar nowadays.

j
jacekwalkowicz
Oct 15, 2018

burning poverty and chill of money ++

Friend or foe bring cash when coming to this beautiful West.

c
candlesticktroughs
Jul 23, 2018

How do you know it is an irrational anger? Hollywood made a film out of this novel, and it is one of the most cleaving-to-its-source films made yet. Henry Fonda, who played a lead role in the film, said it was his favorite role. KCLS should have it. Sometimes films go down better than the books they grew from.

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Quotes

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d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And this you can know- fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land…We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours….That’s what makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it."

"We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man."

"Yes, but the bank is only made of men."

"No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Before I knowed it, I was sayin' out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.' . . . . I says, 'What's this call, this sperit?' An' I says, 'It's love. I love people so much I'm fit to bust, sometimes.' . . . . I figgered, 'Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of.' Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent-I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“...and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

l
LexiLou2
Feb 24, 2016

Pa sniffed. "Seems like times is changed," he said sarcastically. "Time was when a man said what we'd do. Seems like women is tellin' now. Seems like it's purty near time to get out a stick."

Ma put the clean dripping tin dish out on a box. She smiled down at her work. "You get your stick, Pa," she said. "Times when they's food an' a place to set, then maybe you can use your stick an' keep your skin whole. But you ain't a-doin' your job, either a-thinkin' or a-workin'. If you was, why, you could use your stick, an' women folks'd sniffle their nose an' creep-mouse aroun'. But you jus' get you a stick now an' you ain't lickin' no woman; you're a-fightin', 'cause I got a stick all laid out too."

Pa grinned with embarrassment. "Now it ain't good to have the little fellas hear you talkin' like that," he said.

"You get some bacon inside the little fellas 'fore you come tellin' what else is good for 'em," said Ma.

LOVE this! Ma is such a strong and wonderful character.

Age Suitability

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i
IshaanGupta30
Jul 24, 2020

IshaanGupta30 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

e
ea304gt
Jul 05, 2019

ea304gt thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

Dragonrat703 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
rolandtshen
Mar 08, 2014

rolandtshen thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 2

s
spammingftw
Apr 07, 2013

spammingftw thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

JCLLeslieN Oct 25, 2010

JCLLeslieN thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Other: A woman breastfeeds a starving man.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Sexual Content: Not actual sex scenes, but many references to laying with girls in the field. One character grabs a girl by the ankles when she tries to leave and makes her have sex, although she relents a bit of the way through.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Violence: A woman's hand is shot off and a main character's head is crushed, although this is not described graphically.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Coarse Language: Son-of-a-bitch, Goddammit, nigger; and others are used copiously.

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