John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, New York: Viking, 1939

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch48

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, New York: Viking, 1939, in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch48

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675

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Keywords:

  • John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939);
  • The Grapes of Wrath, in mid-1930s - Steinbeck, a series of articles for the San Francisco News on plight of migrants flocking into California, from the dust bowl conditions of the Midwest;
  • The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck's third novel - on the plight of migrant workers in California, following In Dubious Battle (1936) and Of Mice and Men (1937);
  • migrants, victims of nature and of economic change - vulnerable because of drought and the Depression's impact on farm prices;
  • federal government protections - as a minimum wage, regulation of working hours, child labor laws, unemployment and welfare benefits and safe working conditions, in the 1930s;
  • choreography of family gathering - the Joad family, making its decision when to move west reflecting gendered authority, will realign, but not completely disrupt;
  • events upon the journey and in California - requiring a strength and courage, that Ma Joad shows more than any other member of the family;
  • vision of community action - shared by Casy and Tom, mirroring the sharing behind the family's journey from the beginning;
  • the novel, offering no comfortable solutions in its final pages - operators of the Hooper Farms getting their way in breaking the strike

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography