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The Grapes of Wrath

Classic novel published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck

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The Beauty of Reading Grapes

  • Jun 17, 2010

Slight-Spoiler Alert: But don't worry, it doesn't ruin the book :)

The Grapes of Wrath is, simply put, an American classic with a powerful message that resonates generation after generation. Set during the Dust Bowl, the novel tells the story of a family from Oklahoma and their journey to California, the promise land. On a superficial level, all characters are endearing icons of perseverance in the face of tribulation. Nonetheless, this book is acclaimed for its beautiful imagery on one hand and earth-shattering underlying themes on the other. John Steinbeck starts writing by alternating chapters, one painting the bigger picture of the Dust Bowl and the next developing the intricate plot that leads the Joads down Route 66. Filled with biblical allusions and a myriad of subtle literary elements, it's virtually impossible to catch all of this book's significance in only one read. My favorite way to explore this piece of literature is to probe for religious references and interpret them in context. Metaphors are all over the characters's names -- Jim Casey, for instance, alludes to Jesus Christ -- as well as in the development of characterization. From the parting of the Red Sea to Noah's Deluge, from the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane,  Steinbeck will take your breath away with the style he uses to convey his messages against established religion and favorable of communal living. Reading this book is certainly a rewarding experience: the wording is not difficult, there are no crazy plot twists, and it's not the kind of novel that keeps you guessing (for the most part). Nevertheless, there is much to be read in between the lines, and once the reader masters the art of interpreting Steinbeck, the book truly becomes alive, and there is no end to this tale forever lives in the hearts and minds of those who appreciate John Steinbeck's message.

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More The Grapes of Wrath (book) reviews
review by . June 17, 2010
Steinbeck knows how to speak to the soul. Throughout the pages of his book, truth after truth will resonate to the reader. It's like Steinbeck takes things that we all feel to be true but maybe have never consciously thought about and tells a story about them. Our society tends to have an unwritten belief that the harder we work the more success will come to us. Those who haven't achieved or those in poverty have just not worked hard enough yet. Steinbeck tells a story about a family who …
review by . July 01, 2010
Without a doubt John Steinbeck's best work is The Grapes of Wrath and Steinbeck is a man who has written a lot of good books. The story takes place in typical Steinbeck setting: Great Depression era American and tells the tale of a family from Oklahoma, known as the derogatory 'Oakies', as they move out to the western coast after work dries up in Oklahoma and news spreads to them of a better life elsewhere.      The main focus of the story is the trials and tribulations …
Quick Tip by . September 04, 2010
I first read this in high school. It blew me away then. It's Steinbeck's best.
Quick Tip by . August 26, 2010
This book is an epic, page-turner by a master of American Literature.
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
American classic. Gritty tragedy. Watch the movie second to make sense of it.
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
An amazing look at the dust bowl and just another testament to Steinbeck's impeccable ability to fully realize an era.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
If you have aspirations about being a great writer, you should read this book as it conveys all the elements of a superior novel.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Steinbeck is an amazing writer. Chosen as a subject of American Literature, he reveals the side of America that no one wanted to see. The dirty, hard, unforgiving side that is a reality for many.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
I couldn't really get in to this story. not sure why it's such an American classic
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Would've preferred one perspective throughout, but thoroughly enjoyed the book!
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Dalmo Mendonca ()
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Member Since: Jun 15, 2010
Last Login: Jun 30, 2010 08:03 AM UTC
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Books, Cafe Libri, Fiction, Literature, Classics, Depression, John Steinbeck, Dust Bowl, Agricultural Workers, Migrant Workers


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1984 (British first edition)



1984 (British first edition)

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