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A Critical Review of: John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck wrote this book in the hopes that people would be able to see what was happening to our nation’s people. He wanted to open their eyes to see the hardships that migrants faced everyday and he accomplished this through the telling of the Joad’s family story. Starting with the day that their ex-convict son comes home on parole, the lives of the Joad’s never really go back to normal. After being evicted from their property by the bank, the whole family packs up and goes the only way they can…West. Their plight involves beginning a new life by casting away the methods of the past and being able to endure the misfortunes that life throws at them. Of course their progress is hampered by an unreliable truck and by the “quest for the dollar'; that all migrants had. Through their journey to find work and settle down, the Joad’s encounter many calamities that test their relationship as a family and their own limits as individuals. As in real life, not everyone succeeds with his or her goals, and this story of hardship is no different.
In the beginning of the book we get an early look at Steinbeck’s ideals when Muley Graves says,“…if a fella’s got somepin to eat an’ another fella’s hungry—why, the first fella ain’t got no choice.'; This is something that was very true back in the past and something that most people lived by. Families could not see people starve to death when they had food to eat themselves. Although they might be starting a new life, the ideals don’t change because that is what makes an individual unique.
Uncle John Joad said, “Go down an’ tell ‘em. Go down in the street an’ rot an’ tell ‘em that way.';
Steinbeck’s writing style, as always, is rich with colorful language and sensual images. His pages are filled with lines such as, “The dust-filled air muffled sound more completely than fog does,'; and all sorts of literary elements from similes to personifications. There is one thing that a reader will never get with The Grapes of Wrath and that is bored because of how descriptive the settings are. The passages of nature are especially vibrant and it would be those that you could imagine very easily because of the picture he paints. The dialogue of the book is unique in that it is written the way it was spoken in the past.
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