The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

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Grimm 1 Alanna Grimm Ms. Lucibello English 11 H 16 October 2015 What embodies a “Great American Novel?” A Great American novel is defined as “…any novel that is regarded as having successfully represented an important time in US history or one that tells a story that is typical of America.” The Grapes of Wrath is undeniably the most obvious choice to be considered for this role. The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, is an incredible novel written during the time period of the Dust Bowl in America. It follows a family named the Joads who, among thousands of other families, are traveling to California to search for better lives. The Grapes of Wrath deserves the distinction “The Great American Novel” because of its ability to inspire the reader to see that change can occur through unity, how it denounces prioritizing monetary values over classic human rights, and how it celebrates the selfless acts of many people. After reading The Grapes of Wrath, the reader commonly has a strong opinion about its various topics straight from the beginning. It is often argued that The Grapes of Wrath does not deserve the title “The Great American Novel” because of its unsupportive opinions against the American government. Many people believe that “The Great American Novel” should be generous in its descriptions of America and point out America’s greatest accomplishments. Steinbeck does the opposite of this by describing many law officials in a more unfriendly tone. Not only this, but most of the novel is about how the migrants were treated unfairly and Grimm 2 without respect from the government. This is most certainly not America’s greatest feat. In many instances, the landowners took advantage of the migrants by getting them to barte... ... middle of paper ... ... repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” (Steinbeck 238). In that powerful quote Steinbeck makes it clear that these situations have occurred frequently throughout history but the only way out is through strength and unity. This realization of affecting change together throughout the society is why The Grapes of Wrath is “The Great American Novel.” In conclusion, The Grapes of Wrath deserves the distinction “The Great American Novel.” From the moment it was released in 1940, The Grapes of Wrath shocked the nation with its raw truths, its celebration of selfless acts, its denunciation of prioritizing monetary values over the values of a human being, and the ability to inspire to reader to see that change can occur through unity. With all these different aspects in one story, The Grapes of Wrath is unquestionably the best novel for this title.

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