“The clouds appeared, and went away, and in a while they did not try any more, The weeds grew darker green to protect themselves, and they did not spread any more, The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth pale…” (Steinbeck, 1) In the opening sentences of the novel Steinbeck sets the scene by depicting the changing environment. Through his use of imagery, phrases like “did not try anymore” and words like hard, crust, and pale paints a picture of an open dry unpromising field filled with dying crops. This mental image created by Steinbeck’s words evokes unpleasant emotion: before the audience is even introduced to the main characters John Steinbeck has already made his audience empathize with the character’s situation. “Men stood by their fences and looked at the ruined corn, drying fast now, only a little green showing through the film of dust. The men were silent and they did not move often, And the women came out of the houses to stand beside their men -- to feel whether this time the men would break.” This...
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...ts the actual migrant workers of the Dust Bowl.
In conclusion, The Grapes of Wrath is a fictional yet informative piece of literature that evokes thoughts of the struggle of Dust Bowl migrant workers and provokes emotions of sympathy towards them. John Steinbeck utilizes his target audience’s shared history, familial values, and respect for hard work and determination to make thew aware of and care about the migrant workers of the Dust Bowl. As America was recovering from the Great Depression, John Steinbeck reminded his fellow citizens that there are still people out there that are suffering just like they once were. “No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”-Steinbeck. In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck made his audience aware of the disparity in America and he made them relate to those less fortunate.
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