The Grapes of Wrath Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath is the story of a family who is struck by the great depression, and travels to California with the hope of a new life. They encounter many problems and dissapointments, and struggle with poverty and the threat of starvation. It is hard to find a job, and they live day by day, with only a glimmer of hope. This book is somewhat depressing, and really illustrates what the dust bowl was like.
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The review of this Book prepared by Katie

This guy gets out of jail and goes home only to discover his family is moving because they are geting pushed off their land during the Great Depression. They exhaust themselves trying to get to California, where they have heard there is work. Once there, they discover that things are not going to look up.
The review of this Book prepared by Belle

This is a classic, epic story of the treacherous trek for survival against the odds, of the Joad family. As their homes are turned into dustbowls, and capitalist businesses move in to take over small farming interests, the people of Oklahoma are wooed west to the rich pickings of California by cold hearted big businessman offering false hopes of free and happy new lives for the couragous, beleagured 'Okies'. What unfolds is a heartrending, inspiring and totally overwhelming tale of human survival and political questioning with ultimately spiritual overtones.
The review of this Book prepared by James Mulligan

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 after causing a nationwide controversy, this novel relates the saga of a poor extended family of tenant farmers called the Joads, who are driven by the Midwestern dustbowl and the Depression from Oklahoma to the promise of a better life in California. But members of the family die or are otherwise lost on the way, the prospects are no better out West, and nascent unionizers and police clash violently. (When film producer Darryl Zanuck proposed to make a movie of the book -- directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda and John Carradine -- he hired private detectives to verify the details of the disheartening plot; they told him the truth was even worse.) Steinbeck's writing is Biblically majestic, a triumph of the spirit.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Steinbeck's "Grapes" is probably the most well-known of a slew of communist tracts masquerading as novels from the depression era. It is a powerful work because Steinbeck knew what he was writing about and could bring it home to his readers by adroitly manipulating the novel's contextual circumstances to create the emotions he wanted in his readers. This is the basic reason all novels of sociel commentary are useless as rational arguments - Dickens was a master at the same game.
The review of this Book prepared by Kelly Whiting

Main character gets out of jail, finds his family farm destroyed, finds his family living with his uncle, they have to leave Oklahoma to go to California and try to make a living out of it. Good part of the book about the road trip to California, all their miseries, misfortunes. They get in California to find it's no better what they had.
The review of this Book prepared by Martin Deschenes

Chapter Analysis of The Grapes of Wrath

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   general liberal/left wing activism Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West    -   Midwest    -   California Desert?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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John Steinbeck Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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