The Grapes Of Success Essay

865 words - 3 pages

Consistently in the world of literature there emerge writers who publish works to deeply affect readers, people of power, and even the government by bringing controversial subjects, perhaps previously ignored or unknown, to the spotlight. John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize, is one of these writers. The Grapes of Wrath is a work which compromises nothing to function as John Steinbeck's social statement and plea; a novel in which he protests against the treatment of the migrants by land-owners and the natives of California, and strikes a sympathetic and angered chord deep within his readers so as to make a difference in society and in the government. He is specifically concerned with the way the migrants are treated by the farm-owners in California, and to communicate these concerns he uses two things, a family and their story to strike a personal chord, and intercalary chapters, to further develop his social and moral concerns. The Grapes of Wrath is based around a fictional sharecropper family called the Joads, though their story is nearly identical to many of the true migrants of the great depression. The Joad's struggle to maintain some sort of dignity and pride is broken by the tragedies they must witness and experience: the murder of their former preacher and good friend Casy, the constant harassment by the deputies, ugly nicknames, depressing camps, and a tired lack of jobs. Through this story Steinbeck refuses to let the plight of the migrants remain impersonal and distant. He gives the American people a way to understand exactly what was going on by turning the situation into a well-written story. Through his moving narrative the American people become intimately acquainted with one family, and thus become intimately acquainted with the entire situation. As Tom runs through underbrush and grass, his face bleeding and his mind racing as he escapes the persecutors whom he saw kill Casy, the reader longs to reach a hand in and help him. As the Joads are forced to keep moving by a lack of work, the reader longs to change the system. By drawing the reader into the Joad family, Steinbeck can then display the injustice the family suffers, and thus make it real, communicating his social and moral views about the treatment of the migrants, and causing his readers to want to do something about it. The intercalary chapters are also important to the communication of Steinbeck's concerns. He uses them to include the material that the narrative alone could not cover. These chapters speak of the...

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