The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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Depicts the hardships and suffering endured by the Joads as they journey from Oklahoma to California during the Depression
Publisher: New York : Penguin Group (USA), [2006], c1967
ISBN: 9781417747818
1417747811
Branch Call Number: FIC Stein 3558ad 2
Characteristics: lviii, 464 p. --

Opinion

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Banned for "obscene language and vulgar imagery".


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d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

The Grapes of Wrath can truly be called the Great American novel of the 1900s (except, perhaps, for To Kill a Mockingbird). It tells the tale of a migrant family from Oklahoma forced to flee their home after the bank takes their land during the Great Depression. They travel to California, supposedly a bountiful country offering up copious jobs, and soon come face to face with the harsh reality of poverty and inequality deeply rooted in American society.

This book has faced much criticism for being communist or socialist propaganda. To an extent, this is true. John Steinbeck was a strong believer in socialism, and his opinions are clear through his writing. However, the flaws in capitalism portrayed in this book are true, and whether you are a fan of socialism or not the horrors of the Great Depression should not be ignored.

Steinbeck does not hold back in his description of the harsh conditions migrant families (called Okies as a derogatory term) are forced to endure. Many people better off than them turn a blind eye to their need, insisting that Okies are not human because no human could stand to live in such conditions. Starvation of children, illness, and death abound, and oftentimes people cannot afford a simple burial for a family member. Yet these workers do not choose to stand idly by. Many choose to take a stand in the form of unions and strikes but are squashed down by company owners.

But beyond being a political novel, this book tells of brave heroism that everyday people can accomplish. Ma, in a world run by men who are breaking, takes control of the family and makes sure all are accounted for. Casy, an ex-preacher, keeps the family's spirits alive with his incessant, spiritual chatter, and Tom Joad refuses to stand up to the oppression of humanity.

A must-read book for all people, the Grapes of Wrath is a classic that will never die. Mixing heartbreak, humor, simple, poetic prose, and the qualities of an epic, it is a book no one could ever forget.

p
pam54reedy
Apr 19, 2017

the pace was too slow for me. I give it 1 stars

VaughanPLSarahN Feb 06, 2017

Despite its 1930's publication date and an arduous pace reflective of the time, the story this book tells about progress and its effect on those who are left behind is just as relevant now as it was then. Some of the statements made seemed so current that I felt they were anachronistic and had to check the publication date to remind myself that the book was written when it was set.

j
juliamlynch
Sep 26, 2016

the pace is slow, but that's the tempo that works for the story. Absolutely the best book I've ever read

m
Makemoney
Jul 05, 2016

It started slow. I finally got interested, but it was such a depressing story throughout!

Funny & Epic.Loved it.

l
LexiLou2
Feb 24, 2016

A really fantastic story. I admit that I skim-read every other chapter, when the narration was omniscient and attributed to no known characters, but the main story following the Joad's was great.

o
ocky
Mar 15, 2015

This novel centres on the Joad family as they journey to California after being uprooted from their land during the Dust Bowl. Steinbeck's description of the farmers-become-migrants, their hopes, fears and pluck as they face hardship and prejudice stirs feelings of empathy and admiration.

p
Persnickety77
Nov 16, 2014

I read this when I was 16 and it devastated me - the ending was so complexly bittersweet that I cried for 2 hours over it! Steinbeck drags you through the mud and the dirt and the hunger and the desperation and the indignation that the characters are experiencing, and you experience it right along with them. Harrowing, intense, depressing, and beautiful. Everyone should read this book!

Dieu_D Oct 29, 2014

Starts off slow, but then it pulls you in. Profoundly moving, and the ending took my breath away.

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Quotes

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d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“And this you can know- fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land…We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours….That’s what makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it."

"We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man."

"Yes, but the bank is only made of men."

"No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“Before I knowed it, I was sayin' out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.' . . . . I says, 'What's this call, this sperit?' An' I says, 'It's love. I love people so much I'm fit to bust, sometimes.' . . . . I figgered, 'Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of.' Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent-I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”

d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

“...and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

l
LexiLou2
Feb 24, 2016

Pa sniffed. "Seems like times is changed," he said sarcastically. "Time was when a man said what we'd do. Seems like women is tellin' now. Seems like it's purty near time to get out a stick."

Ma put the clean dripping tin dish out on a box. She smiled down at her work. "You get your stick, Pa," she said. "Times when they's food an' a place to set, then maybe you can use your stick an' keep your skin whole. But you ain't a-doin' your job, either a-thinkin' or a-workin'. If you was, why, you could use your stick, an' women folks'd sniffle their nose an' creep-mouse aroun'. But you jus' get you a stick now an' you ain't lickin' no woman; you're a-fightin', 'cause I got a stick all laid out too."

Pa grinned with embarrassment. "Now it ain't good to have the little fellas hear you talkin' like that," he said.

"You get some bacon inside the little fellas 'fore you come tellin' what else is good for 'em," said Ma.

LOVE this! Ma is such a strong and wonderful character.

Age Suitability

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d
Dragonrat703
Feb 02, 2018

Dragonrat703 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
rolandtshen
Mar 08, 2014

rolandtshen thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 2

s
spammingftw
Apr 07, 2013

spammingftw thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

JCLLeslieN Oct 25, 2010

JCLLeslieN thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Other: A woman breastfeeds a starving man.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Sexual Content: Not actual sex scenes, but many references to laying with girls in the field. One character grabs a girl by the ankles when she tries to leave and makes her have sex, although she relents a bit of the way through.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Violence: A woman's hand is shot off and a main character's head is crushed, although this is not described graphically.

d
Dragonrat703
Jan 31, 2018

Coarse Language: Son-of-a-bitch, Goddammit, nigger; and others are used copiously.

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