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10 thoughts on “The Grapes of Wrath

  1. Malcolm Logan Malcolm Logan says:

    Whenever I revisit a classic I'm struck by how much I get out of it now than I did when I was 24 or 19 or God forbid 15 Giving a book like the Grapes of Wrath to a 15 year old serves largely to put them off fine literature for the rest of their lives The depth of understanding and compassion for the human condition as communicated by a book like this is simply unfathomable to those who haven't lived much life yet but after you've gotten a healthy dose of living it comes across like fine music to a trained ear My heart doesn't bleed for the Joads today as it might have 25 years ago Yes it's grim and unfair but it's no longer shocking or disturbing and I can see now that Steinbeck didn't intend sensationalism to be the main point What he's about is revealing the human dignity the innate goodness and unbreakable pride of these people and by extension the American people in general something that still resonates today especially with reference to the working classes When the Joads and their kind decline government hand outs reuesting instead the simple opportunity to work hard and be rewarded commensurate with their labor even if it means a grueling cross country journey to a place they don't know one can hear today's white working poors' exasperated disdain for government insisting that they simply be allowed to keep of their pay and not be held back in their efforts by nit picking legalities and cultural trivialities that disapprove of their lifestyles Sadly most such people will never read the Grapes of Wrath Worse yet many liberal lawmakers won't read it again after high school and won't glean from it an essential understanding about the pride and perseverance of the American working class which the far right is playing like a fiddle much to the detriment of the entire nation A book like the Grapes of Wrath should be reuired reading for every American over 30

  2. Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius* Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius* says:

    If you are an American you need to read The Grapes of Wrath It scares the poop out of me because my fellow Americans we are repeating history If live anywhere else read it as well as a guide for what not to doIn the Grapes of Wrath Mr Steinbeck tells the tale of the first great depression through the Joad family from Oklahoma who has been displaced from their family farm through no fault of their own You see there was a big bad drought which made farming impossible In those days the family farm fed the family and what they had left over they sold But when the drought hit the only thing that would grow was cotton you can’t eat cotton and that crop sucked the life right out of the soil so no other crop could grow in it for a very long time “These things were lost and crops were reckoned in dollars and land was valued by principal plus interest and crops were bought and sold before they were planted Then crop failure drought and flood were no longer little deaths within life but simple losses of money And all their love was thinned with money and all their fierceness dribbled away in interest until they were no longer farmers at all but little shopkeepers of crops little manufacturers who must sell before they can make Then those farmers who were not good shopkeepers lost their land to good shopkeepers No matter how clever how loving a man might be with earth and growing things he could not survive if he were not also a good shopkeeper And as time went on the business men had the farms and the farms grew larger but there were fewer of them”Some guys with a lot of cash came along and bought up all the struggling family farms and leased the land back to the former family farmers and when they couldn’t produce the new Owners kicked the families out of their homes Put them on the streets children and elderly and allwho cares right? Poor people are less thanFrom California came hand bills pamphlets promising jobs and urging the homeless to drag their whole lives via barely moving junk heaps to the golden state where grapes grew in bunches by the side of the road What choice did they have? They drove across deserts and mountains losing loved ones along the way they answered those hand bills in droves What else could they do?What happened when they got to California? They didn’t get jobs they got ridicule They were called Okies and shitheals and were looked down upon “How can they live like that?” The people with money would ask as if being poor was a choice As if they were just lazy and all it would take to get out of poverty was to get a jobbut there were no fucking jobs The owners sent out handbills then they needed to Why? Because the men begging for a job the less the owners would have to pay them Supply and demand The greedy sons a bitches wanted to pay as little as possible and that is exactly what they did The Okies did not have a union of course “And the great owners who must lose their land in an upheaval the great owners with access to history with eyes to read history and to know the great fact when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away And that companion fact when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed The great owners ignored the three cries of history The land fell into fewer hands the number of the dispossessed increased and every effort of the great owners was directed at repression The money was spent for arms for gas to protect the great holdings and spies were sent to catch the murmuring of revolt so that it might be stamped out The changing economy was ignored plans for the change ignored; and only means to destroy revolt were considered while the causes of revolt went on”Who are the “great owners” today? The Walton family of Walmart six of them have the same amount of money as the bottom 40% of Americans That is 124720000 people people 93 billionBILLION and they want money than could be spent in several lifetimes They don’t need it all but the rest of America does Do you think the Walton’s might have an interest in keeping people poor? Go check out who’s in that store at 3am Let’s also take a look at who is running against President Obama Mittens is so rich that he doesn’t even know what a doughnut is and he’s fighting for the Waltons and all of the 1 % He’s so rich he thinks he is entitled to the office and “us people” do not need to see his tax returnsthe nerve of us move on We need to sit down shut up and stop asking uestions because he being a rich bastard is an “owner” and we should know our place Not bloody likely “Our people are good people; our people are kind people Pray God some day kind people won’t all be poor Pray God some day a kid can eatAnd the associations of owners knew that some day the praying would stopAnd there’s the end”Also posted at Shelfinflicted

  3. Michael Michael says:

    This is another review as I go which helps me capture my thoughts of the moment before I forget them One thing that strikes me in these early pages is Steinbeck's techniue of focusing on things that are supposedly tangential to the main narrative of the Joad family but yet are central to their fate I'm thinking of the descriptions of the natural world like that wonderful chapter about the turtle who eventually gets scooped up by Tom You see the world through the turtle's eyes for a moment and you see how the indifference of the characters to nature is a larger phenomenon that leads to their own ruin Steinbeck reinforces this theme later when he talks about how farmers can no longer afford to feel and relate to nature that they're basically chemists dealing in nitrogen and machine operators dealing with tractors But he says when the wonder is gone people are doomed And of course the entire book is about the doomed nature of the dust bowl and this he says is how we got there through this kind of moral breakdownThere's another similar type of moral breakdown at work in the wonderful passage about the car dealers talking about how to rip people off Here we see other forces greed capitalism deceit that also serve as a form of human self sabotageThis is what I appreciate so far that this book is ABOUT SOMETHING That Steinbeck has something to say about the human endeavor I find this element missing in so much contemporary fiction which doesn't really seem to be about much of anything at allAs it gets closer to California and the landscape changes the first ominous whisperings appear that California will not be the paradise the Joads expect Still they carry on feeling like they have no choice swept up in this tide of historyAt first the Joads encounter only the cruelty of capitalism that the large field owners want to have hundreds of thousands of poor workers to choose from because it will keep wages low Then in the government camp they finally meet with simple human kindness really the antithesis of all that Steinbeck is showing how important kindness is and how it is crushed in the capitalist machine Money becomes like an ideology a mask that shields the owners from the conseuences of their bad actions But it's also become necessary for survival No longer can small farmers work their own land They are forced into the larger economy forced to earn wages and participate in the world of money in order to survive Thus the Joads are eventually forced to leave the government camp in search of work Where? They don't know Somewhere vaguely northEventually they find work picking peaches but they soon become caught up in labor unrest that spills into fatal violence and they're forced to leave I won't give away much of what follows Suffice it to say that the harrowing ordeals don't end there nor the emphasis on simple human kindness as the antidote to the capitalist machine Simple human kindness becomes by the end the mother's milk that can sustain them but only barely and uncertainly and we're left with the indelible portrait of people trying to survive unsure how it might turn outA brave fierce work that brims with the sense that it doesn't have to be this way that people have made choices to be cruel but can make choices to be kind as well That something has to change because for most people this architecture and logic of cruelty brings no relief and no joy

  4. Luca Ambrosino Luca Ambrosino says:

    ENGLISH The Grapes of WrathITALIANOThe Great Depression told through the journey of one of the many families of farmers fallen on hard times in the 1930s The exhausting search for work food and a roof over the head put a strain on human dignity and degrade the soul making unexpected even genuine attitudes of solidarity by those who share the same destiny But hunger and very poor living conditions sow grains of desperation from which gems of gall immediately sproutIn the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy growing heavy for the vintage seems to be a statement than a warning We are human and we are destined to fight the injustice by the uprisingAnd this you can know fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept for this one uality is the foundation of Manself and this one uality is man distinctive in the universeAnd then Tom Joad one of the protagonists of the biblical exodus who is unable to tolerate the anguish that his loved ones suffer becomes the symbol and the incarnation of the human being of John Steinbeck However readers have a bitter pill to swallow at the endVote 85La Grande Depressione americana raccontata attraverso il viaggio di una delle tante famiglie di agricoltori che caddero in rovina negli anni trenta L'estenuante ricerca di lavoro cibo e un tetto sotto cui dormire mette a dura prova la dignità umana abbrutisce l'anima rendendo inattesa e insperata perfino la solidarietà da chi condivide lo stesso destino Ma l'estremo disagio e la fame seminano chicchi di disperazione dai uali germogliano subito gemme di fieleNei cuori degli umili maturano i frutti del furore e s'avvicina l'epoca della vendemmia più che un monito uesto estratto lapidario rappresenta una semplice constatazione Noi siamo esseri umani e siamo destinati a combattere il sopruso con l'insurrezioneSconfortante sarebbe notare che l'Umanità rinuncia a soffrire e morire per un'idea; perchè è uesta la ualità fondamentale che è alla base dell'Umanità uesta la prerogativa che distingue l'uomo dalle altre creature dell'universoE allora Tom uno dei protagonisti dell'esodo biblico della famiglia Joad con la sua incapacità a tollerare le angherie che subiscono i suoi cari diventa il simbolo e l'incarnazione dell'essere umano di John Steinbeck Tuttavia alla fine masticano amaro i lettoriVoto 85

  5. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain” Revelation 1610 The Grapes of Wrath begins with the description of the severe drought and dust storms that deprived farmers of their livelihood and sustenanceThe dawn came but no day In the gray sky a red sun appeared a dim red circle that gave a little light like dusk; and as that day advanced the dusk slipped back toward darkness and the wind cried and whimpered over the fallen cornNo land no home no money no food – time to hit the road and find a better place But is there a better place?The bitterness we sold to the junk man – he got it all right but we have it still And when the owner men told us to go that’s us; and when the tractor hit the house that’s us until we’re dead To California or any place – every one a drum major leading a parade of hurts marching with our bitterness And some day – the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way And they’ll all walk together and there’ll be a dead terror from itBut freedom of the poor is restricted by the freedom of the state and freedom of politicians and freedom of the rich“Here’s me that used to give all my fight against the devil ’cause I figgered the devil was the enemy But they’s somepin worse’n the devil got hold a the country an’ it ain’t gonna let go till it’s chopped loose Ever see one a them Gila monsters take hold mister?”That’s the way of the state“Lead ’em around and around Sling ’em in the irrigation ditch Tell ’em they’ll burn in hell if they don’t think like you What the hell you want to lead ’em someplace for? Jus’ lead ’em’’That’s the way of politicians“I hear ’em an’ feel ’em; an’ they’re beating their wings like a bird in a attic Gonna bust their wings on a dusty winda tryin’ ta get out’’And that’s the fate of the poor“I’m learnin’ one thing good’’ she said “Learnin’ it all a time ever’ day If you’re in trouble or hurt or need – go to poor people They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones’’The power always is on the side of the rich and if you’re poor they won’t give you anything you’ll have only what you can take

  6. Lisa Lisa says:

    Man made environmental catastrophe and its inhuman cost a study in ineuality and injustice Imagine having to leave your country because it is a wasteland created by a decade of dust storms? Imagine having nowhere to go but still crossing the desert in hope of finding a future after your past was wiped out by human failure greed and environmental carelessness? Imagine not being welcome when you arrive with nothing but what your family vehicle can carry “How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?”Imagine nobody caring about those thousands of us who lost their identities with their farms and livelihoods Immigrants are always also emigrants and they carry the memory of being somebody somewhere in a distant past To treat them as if they existed in a historical vacuum is as cruel as it is common and it is the recurring topic of Steinbeck's heartbreaking writingSteinbeck is one of those authors that I love unconditionally and with each reading experience I once travelled from where I lived in Texas to visit Steinbeck country in California looking for his traces in Monterey and Salinas always accompanied by his complete works from hilarious short novels to the heavy epic novels of good and evil In the end I discovered his characters in the faces I saw on the road I smelled his descriptions of nature in the humid or dry dusty air I heard his dialogues in the everyday exchanges on markets and in hot small town streets I love them all each one in my carefully kept Steinbeck collection Asked by one of my children the other day which Steinbeck had influenced me most I thought I was going to give an evasive diplomatic answer not making a statement for or against any specific story Instead I heard myself sayThe Grapes of WrathAnd the moment I said it I knew that I meant it It may not exactly be my favourite Steinbeck but definitely the one I feel uncomfortably chillingly getting under my skin immediately Just recalling the voices of the characters makes me shiver as they suffer through the ordeal of fleeing from the Dust Bowl that environmental catastrophe caused by greed and paid for by individual families to a Californian paradise which doesn't welcome newcomers The poverty the suffering the love and despair it is tangible in each sentence in each story lineFamily saga social study historical document political standpoint ethical statement on compassion and greed it is all there but invisible under the masterfully crafted story which has its own uality beyond the message on the essential needs and worries of poor common people without protective networks I don't know how to close this review as I am not done with this novel at all despite having read it several times But one uote shall stand as a warning to those who believe their wealth protects them against being humans and feeling poor for behaving poorly“If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich seems to me he needs it 'cause he feels awful poor inside hisself and if he's poor in hisself there ain't no million acres gonna make him feel rich an' maybe he's disappointed that nothin' he can do 'll make him feel rich”

  7. Henry Avila Henry Avila says:

    During the bleakness of the dry dust bowl days as the suffocating particles fall everywhere you can't breathe in your nose eyes clothes food house the darkness at noon unable to see the Sun during a dust storm the top soil flying away carried by the winds never to return in the Depression when people farmers lost their homes and land to the banks incapable to repay their loans no crops no money symbolized by the Joad family of Oklahoma in the 1930's Seeing black and white pictures tell only a small portion of this the real story that John Steinbeck wrote about masterfully in his novel The Grapes of Wrath Where a hungry large group of people travel to the promise land of California a distant 1500 miles away but find starvation abuse and death In an old dilapidated automobile the Joad's Ma the de facto leader and Pa Tom just released from prison for killing a man in self defense it didn't help that both were drunk Rose a teenager married to a lazy shiftless dreamer Connie and pregnant Uncle John who likes the bottle and his late wife he mourns too much for their ancient parents and four other children And last but not least the preacher Reverend Jim Casy who doesn't want to preach any having lost his faith the thirteenth member some will not get to their goal He's now after walking around searching for a purpose in fact living like a bum decides since the people have left for the Golden State why not him too ? Oklahoma Texas New Mexico Arizona and at long last crossing the Colorado River into the paradise of California with high mountains and hot steaming deserts discovering desert wastelands and still hundreds of miles to the fertile prosperous pretty fabulously wealthy valley of San Joauin the richest one on the planet But not for the 300000 Okies a misnomer since many are not from Oklahoma an unknown name to the newcomers as they're scornfully called here unfriendly natives and police hate greatly distrust these poor needy miserable folks and frightened of them most assuredly The affluent farmers keep cutting the wages 30 cents an hour 25 20 and dropping how can the workers survive? Tom is angry tired of the endless struggle going from place to place in search of work lack of food housing especially the treatment by the well off like he is scum Nevertheless believes that nobody is above him and will fight back if necessary Deadly strikes deputies burning down the laborers camps violence and starving the old and the young the vulnerable will not endure A strong statement about man's inhumanity to his fellow being A little kindness sought but will it be found ?

  8. Julie Julie says:

    At 17 I bought The Grapes of Wrath cracked it open and after reading a few pages declared it BOR ING Yawn I was off to the mall with my tight abs to find some jeans that would accentuate my vacuous mindThe same copy then sat on my various book shelves ever since I've never been able to sell it or give it away so finally at 42 with far looser abs and a pair of fat jeans in the closet I decided to give it an actual try Now the ladies at my book club will tell you I'm not easily won over by any book though I do believe that a good book is a good book merely because YOU like it A good book may not have any other merit other than you thought the protagonist was sweet Or cute But a great book? Well a great book is a whole different story A great book has nothing to do with YOU or at least not YOU individually A great book pays tribute to the collective YOU our collective consciousness A great book garners the support of Divinity and has the staying power of the people through multiple generations and years And this is a great book One of the best ever written This is the rare Great American Novel up there with Lonesome Dove The Catcher in the Rye and Gone with the Wind I can only imagine that Steinbeck's hands were shaking as he removed the last page from the typewriter yes writers used something called typewriters back then I picture a silent room as he experienced a true moment of awe I like to think he had tears in his eyes or that they slid slowly down his face just as mine did throughout this read As Frost would say no tears in the writer no tears in the readerBelieve me if you are over 35 and have a heart you can not read this novel without tears laughter anger and awe This novel is better than approximately 95% of novels currently on this planet I'd like to travel back in time and cup Steinbeck's face in my hands and say You did it John You did it

  9. Jason Jason says:

    In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy growing heavy for the vintageThis book really gets my goat Those poor dirty Joads So poor and so so dirty After being displaced from their Oklahoma farm following the Dust Bowl storms that wreck their crops and cause them to default on their loans the Joads find themselves a family of migrants in search of work and food They join a stream of hundreds of thousands of other migrant families across the United States to what they believe to be the prosperous valleys of California Only once they arrive they discover that there is nothing prosperous about it—not only is there a serious shortage of work mostly caused by an overabundance of labor that came with the influx of so many other migrant families but they also have to contend with growing anti migrant sentiment among the local population and wealthy landowners who think nothing of taking advantage of them in their state of vulnerability Without proper labor laws protecting worker’s rights and no trade unions to represent their interests the Joads are severely underpaid for whatever work they do manage to find and they simply fall deeper and deeper into despondencyThe reason this gets my goat is ‘cause it doesn’t have to be that way Yes the Joads are uneducated and wouldn’t ualify for anything than basic manual labor Yes it is the Great Depression and this is not an easy time to find a job even for skilled workers And yes they are a family of 47 and they probably look pretty ridiculous all crammed up in the back of their makeshift pickup truck But gosh darn it if only they had unions If only they had fair labor standards to guarantee them a minimum wage If only they had the protection of government legislation to prohibit wealthy landowners from colluding to keep prices high and wages lowWhich leads me to wonder what would Ayn Rand think of all this? After all aren’t labor unions and economic regulation precisely what she argues against? By that account if Atlas Shrugged is the supposed Bible of right wing thinkers then I’d have to say that The Grapes of Wrath might just be its antithesis But the real difference as far as I can tell is that while Atlas Shrugged represents a crazy woman’s vision of a whack job world that could never actually exist John Steinbeck tells it like it is and how it was for so many hard working Americans who were taken advantage of under a system that did nothing to protect them And what’s even remarkable is that Steinbeck’s characters whom by the way Rand would refer to as “moochers”—just thought we should be clear on that make Dagny Taggart and Henry Reardon look like a couple of pussies What is it Ma Joad says? That if you’re in trouble or hurt or need to “go to poor people—for they’re the only ones that’ll help”This is a novel about the working poor and it should serve to remind us what can go horribly wrong in an unregulated economy

  10. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Review contains a partial spoilerIf you read enough reviews you'll notice that most of the people who gave this book 1 or 2 stars had to read the book for a high school class Most of the 4 and 5 star ratings came from those who read it as adults I recommend listening to those who read it as adults Many people hate the ending but I thought it was great Creepy? Yes but there was an immense amount of beauty and generosity in that creepy little ending At one point in the story Ma tol' Rosasharn that it ain't all about her most high school kids think everything is all about them which is probably one reason they couldn't enjoy this book or most other classics they are forced to read Realizing this at the very end made Rosasharn crack her first smile in ages at least that's my take on the mysterious smile I wasn't disappointed in the lack of closure at the end because the closure came in the middle when Ma said Rich fellas come up an' they die an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out But we keep a'comin' We're the people that live They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us We'll go on forever Pa 'cause we're the people So you know they will be fine whether life continues to be a struggle or not They will be better off than the rich man with the million acres they talked about If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich seems to me he needs it 'cause he feels awful poor inside hisself and if he's poor in hisself there ain't no million acres gonna make him feel rich an' maybe he's disappointed that nothin' he can do'll make him feel rich Another good uote is I'm learnin' one thing goodIf you're in trouble or hurt or need go to the poor people They're the only ones that'll help the only ones I saw a special on 2020 around Christmas time about how the lower class are generous overall than the middle and upper class so this still applies today Would anyone like my savings account? I think I'm going to give poverty a shot

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The Grapes of Wrath [Read] ➪ The Grapes of Wrath By John Steinbeck – Päivänpolttavan klassikon uusi suomennosMaailmankirjallisuuden valioihin kuuluva romaani yhteiskunnan pienistä rattaista tavallisista unelmista jotka suuri koneisto jauhaa tomuksi 1930 luvun Amerik Päivänpolttavan klassikon uusi suomennosMaailmankirjallisuuden valioihin kuuluva romaani yhteiskunnan pienistä rattaista tavallisista unelmista jotka suuri koneisto jauhaa tomuksi luvun AmerikassaIlmestyessään Vihan hedelmät herätti sekä ihastusta että vihastusta Tavallisten köyhien ihmisten kuvaajana tunnettu Steinbeck halusi omien sanojensa mukaan häpäistä ne ahneet pirulaiset joita oli kiittäminen tuhansien vuokraviljelijöiden ahdingosta Syntyi tarina Joadien perheestä joka joutuu talouskriisin aikana lähtemään kotoaan Oklahomasta kun pankki anastaa heidän maansa Suunnaksi otetaan kultainen Kalifornia missä työtä ja leipää kerrotaan riittävän kaikille Perillä odottaa kuitenkin ankea todellisuus Työtä on vähän ja sekin nälkäpalkalla Ilmapiiri The Grapes Epub / on vihamielinen Uuden loisteliaan suomennoksen saanut tarina on ajankohtaisuudessaan suorastaan kylmäävä.