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Analysis Of The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck was an author whose stories often showed the suffering and oppression that certain groups such as migrant workers were forced to endure. It was during the Modernist Period of English literature, that he wrote The Grapes of Wrath, one of his most famous novels. It was published in 1939, and became one of his most popular works despite all the criticism it generated and is regarded as one the most important books about the Great Depression (Routledge).
The Grapes of Wrath begins with the protagonist Tom Joad on his way home after being released from prison where he was serving his sentence for manslaughter. Since he is only on parole, he is not allowed to leave the state. If caught violating his parole, he
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After he graduated from high school, he enrolled at Stanford University, but was never able to complete his degree so in 1925, he moved to New York City looking for work (Winters). He eventually grew tired of New York and moved back to California to become a writer (Winters). He struggled to publish his novels in the beginning of his writing career, and his first published novels were unable to turn a major profit due to the financial insecurities of his publishers (Winters). It wasn’t until the late 1930’s that he gained a reputation as a writer after writing Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath (Winters). For his book, The Grapes of Wrath, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 (Winters).
When World II started, John Steinbeck initially tried to join the army, but he was unable to do so because he was accused of being a Communist; the rumors of Steinbeck being a communist stemmed from his work, The Grapes of Wrath, where big business is seen as an evil force (Winters). Unable to join the army to fight for his country, he resorted to writing propaganda pieces for the American government
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However, in the decade to come, John Steinbeck’s popularity waned. Part of this had to do with how his works seemed affiliated with Socialism and Communism which was the stuff of nightmares during the Red Scare (Winters). During this time, his book, The Grapes of Wrath, was even frequently banned due to its themes (Winters). It wasn’t until the sixties when he wrote about his travels across the country that his popularity was renewed, and he was awarded the Paperback of the Year Award in 1964 for his book, Travels with Charley: In Search of America (Winters). He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (Winters). Towards the end of his life Steinbeck entered the world of politics, serving as a presidential advisor and writing in support of the war in Vietnam (Winters). His political affiliation didn’t last long due to a heart attack that took his life on December 20, 1968 (Winters). He was buried in his childhood home of Salinas, California
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