Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Grapes of Wrath

Finished The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. It's the story of the Joad family and their odyssey from Oklahoma to California in search of work, wages and a new home. The book is harsh, gritty and true. Steinbeck wrote a series of articles about migrant workers who had to leave their homes and farms in the Dust Bowl and look for work in California, to them a land of plenty. Much like Dickens writing about poverty and the resulting living conditions in Victorian England, Steinbeck's seemingly post apocalyptic tale was meant to raise awareness of the dire conditions that the migrant workers experienced, "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this." This book was hard to read at first. It's bleakness was troubling, but once I got to know the characters, the story became more and more compelling and difficult to put down.

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