John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath is an excellent portrayal of the common and true Americans. While it is of course a book of deep thought and incredible symbolism, most of all The Grapes of Wrath gives these common American workers a voice and a distinct identity, and doesn't just turn them into a stereotype or cliche.
Steinbeck's book could be regarded as one of the best books from America and perhaps the best on the subject of the Great Depression. It doesn't focus on the stock market crashing or from the upper class perspective at all; instead it shows the effects of it on the common man. And, like all great fictional stories set in historical events, it uses the situation just as the basic story structure and it's not until a certain point that the true theme is revealed. In this case the setting is during the Great Depression but (and I don't want to sound too hokey) the theme is of course about the struggle of life, the ever endearing human spirit, and the hope of better opportunities.
One of my reasons for my choosing The Grapes of Wrath (besides the obviousness of the characters being the heart of America) for my American Patriotic write-off is because even though the characters already live in America they begin to dream of a new land of opportunity and it takes them onto a journey to rediscover the country. Like the recent tragic American situation, the Great Depression is a milestone event in our history and was a period of time that tested our country's strength. We triumphed over that obstacle and it only made us stronger, which we are undoubtedly doing with our current situation.
Most of us know the ...
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...works for the banks, comes with a bulldozer to tear down his old family friends home, right in front of their eyes. I know, it sounds depressing but hey there are some comedic moments and let's remember the story is about the Great Depression.
And so... The Grapes of Wrath is probably the best book written on the subject of the Great Depression of America. It was a depressing time full of fear for the future as it is now with the attacks. We will hopefully be able to look back on these days as another part of history that only kept us stronger, like we do with the Great Depression. But even in these harsh times there's no need to be scared all of the time, because you can look at the Joads and even while wallowing in the poorest and most depressing situations they were still able to have a good time dancing at the hoe-down. True American spirit.
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