John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath

551 Words3 Pages
The stories, novels, films and photographs surrounding the Dust Bowl crisis and the Vietnam War have been marred with various issues about historical reconstructions. Whereas historical critics have raised questions about the real cause of migration of south westerners during the Dust Bowl crisis, their representatives have given conflicting accounts on the events surrounding the Odyssey. Steinbeck, in his book, The Grapes of Wrath, explains that the migration of farmers from Oklahoma was caused by the harsh drought that followed the Dust Bowl Odyssey (Davidson & Lytle, 2009a). On the other hand, critics argue that the findings are not based on statistics. According to historians, novelists like Steinbeck normally base their historical stories on exaggeration and should rely on facts and statistics. For example, the number of farmers who migrated into California is exaggerated. When James Gregory, a current historian, went through the Census Bureau statistics, he found out that only 43% of people living in Oklahoma were farmers during the Dust Bowl crisis. According to historical critics, other causes for the migration might have been the agricultural reorganization and mechanization, as portrayed by a tractor in The Grapes of Wrath.
Although the 1930 census, which was carried out in Oklahoma, suggests that there was a decrease in population, there is no evidence of migration from the region. Some historians also suggest that the Dust Bowl crisis was not the only cause of migration into California; some people moved to the place to look for financial boost for their farms. Historians must always remain truthful to the historical records despite the difficulty in their reconstructions. Historians normally analyze the past in ways ...

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...ple by historians, as seen in the chapter, “From Rosie to Lucy” (Davidson & Lytle, 2009b). For that reason, it is apparent that the current historians are finding the relevant sources easier to access than their predecessors.

Works Cited

Davidson, J. W. & Lytle, M. H. (2009a). Dust Bowl Odyssey. In, After the Fact. The Art of Historical Detection (pp. 284-309). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Davidson, J. W. & Lytle, M. H. (2009b). From Rosie to Lucy. In, After the Fact. The Art of Historical Detection (pp. 339-365). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Davidson, J. W. & Lytle, M. H. (2009c). The decision to drop the bomb. In, After the Fact. The Art of Historical Detection (pp. 310-335). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Davidson, J. W. & Lytle, M. H. (2009d). Where trouble comes. In, After the Fact. The Art of Historical Detection (pp. 420-447). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
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