The Grapes of Wrath Film and Novel Evaluation

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1. Who wrote the novel and who directed the film?
In 1939, John Ernest Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath. Born in Salinas, California on February 27, 1902, Steinbeck came from a family of “modest” means. John Steinbeck Sr. held multiple jobs, while Olive Steinbeck was a schoolteacher. Passing on a love of reading and writing to her son, from the age of 14 Steinbeck wanted to be a writer. After graduating high school, Steinbeck enrolled at Stanford in 1919; however, by 1925 he left college without receiving a degree. After a brief stay in New York, Steinbeck returned to California where he released his first novel Cup of Gold (1929). Many more novels were published including his first real success Tortilla Flats (1935), followed by Of Mice and Men (1937), and his most renowned work The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Written only a few years after the height of the Great Depression, the novel won Steinbeck a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940, for portraying the hardships faced by migrant workers in California. The Second World War led Steinbeck to the New York Herald Tribune as a war correspondent. Finally in 1962, a few short years before Steinbeck would die of heart disease, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
John Ford, born John Martin Feeney, is hailed as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. Fords parents, John and Barbara Feeney, were Irish immigrants and John was one of 11 children. Born on February 1, 1894 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Ford followed his one of his older brothers to Hollywood. He began his career as a stagehand and would later direct his first film The Tornado. Directing over 140 films, Ford is best known for his Westerns, but he is also the famed director of the film adaptation of John S...

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...le the film transformed them into the individual. Another difference between the film and novel is the ending. Steinbeck’s unusual, yet memorable ending was not put in the movie, (but that is perfectly fine.) Even with important pieces of the novel missing, Ford did an amazing job bring the message of the novel to life. For a film made almost 75 years ago the movie translates beautifully to modern viewers. The film stays faithful to the novel, and goes one step farther to give the readers the visual representation of the story, and allows them to see the world with the same perspective as those that lived it.

Works Cited

“John Ford.” A E Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Feb 2014.
“John Steinbeck.” A E Networks, n.d. Web. 19 Feb 2014.

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