Economic Crisis In John Steinbecks The Grapes Of Wrath

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Economic Crisis In John Steinbecks The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

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It will explain the similarities and differences of why the American Revolution and the American Civil War happened. Even though there are some instances in the novel where Steinbeck seems to mirror the attitudes of the past, there also are several instances where the author he displays the need for societal change. He uses the characters in the novel, such as Lennie, to demonstrate the mistreatment of the mentally disabled. He also shows the desperate plight of the economically disadvantaged…. Although the Great Depression is generally recognized as a brutal stock market crash, Watkins, ensures a compelling storyline, to inform and broaden the knowledge of the Great Depression. Besides, the informative material, this book, was emotionally charged, with the aid of photographs, documents, and use of imagery, essentially sending the reader back to that era.

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Read More. Words: - Pages: 7. Set during the Great Depression , the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes, and bank foreclosures forcing tenant farmers out of work. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they are trapped in the Dust Bowl , the Joads set out for California along with thousands of other " Okies " seeking jobs, land, dignity, and a future. The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes due to its historical context and enduring legacy.

The narrative begins just after Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester prison , where he had been incarcerated after being convicted of homicide in self-defense. While hitchhiking to his home near Sallisaw, Oklahoma , Tom meets former preacher Jim Casy, whom he remembers from his childhood, and the two travel together. When they arrive at Tom's childhood farm home, they find it deserted. Disconcerted and confused, Tom and Casy meet their old neighbor, Muley Graves, who tells them the family has gone to stay at Uncle John Joad's home nearby. Graves tells them that the banks have evicted all the farmers. They have moved away, but he refuses to leave the area. The next morning, Tom and Casy go to Uncle John's. Tom finds his family loading their remaining possessions into a Hudson sedan converted into a truck; with their crops destroyed by the Dust Bowl , the family has defaulted on their bank loans, and their farm has been repossessed.

The family sees no option but to seek work in California, which has been described in handbills as fruitful and offering high pay. The Joads put everything they have into making the journey. Although leaving Oklahoma would violate his parole, Tom decides it is worth the risk, and invites Casy to join him and his family. Traveling west on Route 66 , the Joad family finds the road crowded with other migrants. In makeshift camps, they hear many stories from others, some returning from California, and the group worries that California may not actually be as rewarding as suggested. The family dwindles on the way: Grampa dies along the road, and they bury him in a field; Granma dies close to the California state line; and both Noah the eldest Joad son and Connie Rivers the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon leave the family.

Led by Ma, the remaining members realize they must continue on, as nothing is left for them in Oklahoma. Reaching California, they find the state oversupplied with labor ; wages are low, and workers are exploited to the point of starvation. The big corporate farmers are in collusion and smaller farmers suffer from collapsing prices.

All police and state law enforcement authorities are on the side of the growers. At the first migrant Hooverville camp they stop at in California, Casy knocks down a deputy sheriff who is about to shoot a fleeing worker who has alerted others that the labour recruiter travelling with the officer will not pay the wages he is promising. Weedpatch Camp , one of the clean, utility-supplied camps operated by the Resettlement Administration , a New Deal agency, offers better conditions but does not have enough resources to care for all the needy families, and it does not provide them with work or food. Nonetheless, as a Federal facility, the camp protects the migrants from harassment by local deputies.

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. In response to the exploitation , Casy becomes a labor organizer and tries to recruit for a labor union. The Joads find work as strikebreakers in a peach orchard. With everyone picking for most of the day, they still only get paid enough to provide a basic supper for the night and some food for the next day. The next morning the peach plantation announces that the pay rate for the picked fruit has been reduced by half.

Casy is involved in a strike that turns violent. When Tom witnesses Casy's fatal beating, he kills the attacker and takes flight. The Joads quietly leave the orchard to work at a cotton farm, where Tom remains at risk of being arrested, and possibly lynched, for the homicide. Knowing he must leave the area or risk being caught and his family blacklisted from working, Tom bids his mother farewell and vows to work for the oppressed. The rest of the family continues to pick cotton and pool their daily wages so they can buy food. Rose of Sharon's baby is stillborn. Ma Joad remains steadfast and forces the family through the bereavement. With the winter rains, the Joads' dwelling is flooded and the car disabled, and they move to higher ground.

In the final chapter of the book, the family takes shelter from the flood in an old barn. Inside they find a young boy and his father, who is dying of starvation. Ma realizes there is only one way to save the man. She looks at Rose of Sharon and a silent understanding passes between them. Rose of Sharon, left alone with the man, goes to him and has him drink of her breast milk.

The largest implications lie with Tom Joad and Jim Casy, who are both interpreted as Christ-like figures at certain intervals within the novel. These two are often interpreted together, with Casy representing Jesus Christ in the early days of his ministry, up until his death, which is interpreted as representing the death of Christ. From there, Tom takes over, rising in Casy's place as the Christ figure risen from the dead.

However, the religious imagery is not limited to these two characters. Scholars have regularly inspected other characters and plot points within the novel, including Ma Joad, Rose of Sharon, her stillborn child, and Uncle John. In an article first published in , Ken Eckert even compared the migrants' movement west as a reversed version of the slaves' escape from Egypt in Exodus. To extend on previous remarks in a journal Leonard A. Slade lays out the chapters and how they represent each part of the slaves escaping from Egypt. Apparently, then the title suggests, moreover, 'that story exists in Christian context, indicating that we should expect to find some Christian meaning'. Along with Slade other scholars find interpretations in the characters of Rose of Sharon and her stillborn child, Jim Casy and his Christ-like figure.

This is the beginning—from "I" to "we". If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine , Marx , Jefferson , Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I", and cuts you off forever from the "we". Steinbeck was known to have borrowed from field notes taken during by Farm Security Administration worker and author Sanora Babb. While she collected personal stories about the lives of the displaced migrants for a novel she was developing, her supervisor, Tom Collins, shared her reports with Steinbeck, who at the time was working for the San Francisco News.

The newspaper commissioned that work on migrant workers from the Midwest in California's agriculture industry. It was later compiled and published separately. He wanted Covici, in particular, to understand this book, to appreciate what he was up to. And so he concluded with a statement that might serve as preface in and of itself: "Throughout I've tried to make the reader participate in the actuality, what he takes from it will be scaled on his own depth and shallowness. There are five layers in this book, a reader will find as many as he can and he won't find more than he has in himself.

While writing the novel at his home, Greenwood Lane, in what is now Monte Sereno, California , Steinbeck had unusual difficulty devising a title. The Grapes of Wrath , suggested by his wife Carol Steinbeck, [14] was deemed more suitable than anything by the author. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. These lyrics refer, in turn, to the biblical passage Revelation —20, an apocalyptic appeal to divine justice and deliverance from oppression in the final judgment.

This and other biblical passages had inspired a long tradition of imagery of Christ in the winepress , in various media. The passage reads:. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Following Stanford, Steinbeck tried to make a go of it as a freelance writer. He briefly moved to New York City, where he found work as a construction worker and a newspaper reporter, but then returned to California, where he took a job as a caretaker in Lake Tahoe and began his writing career.

Steinbeck wrote 31 books over the course of his career. Two poor migrant workers, George and Lennie, are working for the American dream in California during the Great Depression. Lennie, who has a mild mental disability, is steadfastly faithful to his friend George, but he has a habit of getting into trouble. Their goal: to own an acre of land and a shack. The book was later transformed into a Broadway play and three movies.

Widely considered Steinbeck's finest and most ambitious novel, this book tells the story of a dispossessed Oklahoma family and their struggle to carve out a new life in California at the height of the Great Depression, the book captured the mood and angst of the nation during this time period. At the height of its popularity, The Grapes of Wrath sold 10, copies per week. This story, based on a Mexican folktale, explores human nature and the potential of love.

Kino, a poor diver who gathers pearls from the ocean floor, lives with his wife Juana and their infant son Coyotito by the sea. The book was later adapted into a film directed by Elia Kazan and starring James Dean in his first major movie role. Dean was later nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, which he received posthumously. It wasn't until Tortilla Flat , a humorous novel about paisano life in the Monterey region was released, that the writer achieved real success. Steinbeck struck a more serious tone with In Dubious Battle and The Long Valley , a collection of short stories. In , the author received the Nobel Prize for Literature — "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.

Around this same time, he traveled to Mexico to collect marine life with friend Edward F.

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