Classic : Book Review – The Grapes Of Wrath

The Grapes Of Wrath

download (3)The Grapes of Wrath
is an American novel written by John Steinbeck published in 1939. The novel won him the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; and also the Nobel Prize in 1962. 

The protagonist Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester prison for homicide. On his journey to his home near Sallisaw, Oklahoma. He meets former preacher Jim Casy whom he remembers from his childhood, and the two travel together. When they arrive at his childhood farm home, they find it deserted. With their farm repossessed, the Joads cling to hope, mostly in the form of handbills distributed everywhere in Oklahoma, describing the fruitful country of California and the high pay to be had in that state.

In makeshift camps, they hear many stories from others. Some coming back from California, and are forced to confront the possibility that their prospects may not be what they hoped. Along the road, Grampa dies and  both Noah (the eldest Joad son) and Connie (the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon) split from the family. The remaining members, led by Ma, realize they have no choice but to go on, as there is nothing remaining for them in Oklahoma.

Even after five decades of his death, John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and raises questions about equality and justice in America around Great Depression.

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