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What exactly is the meaning of:  "The Grapes of Wrath"?I will be lecturing...

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tonyflip | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2008 at 9:19 AM via web

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What exactly is the meaning of:  "The Grapes of Wrath"?

I will be lecturing on the opera of the same name and would like to be able to explain why the book is so called.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 2, 2008 at 9:43 AM (Answer #1)

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The title was suggested by Steinbeck's first wife after hearing the song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord/He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored." The song by Julia Ward Howe is an allusion to Isaiah 63: 4-6. The novel has allusions to vineyards and grapes throughout to continue the allusion. Steinbeck liked the title because it was a march, and he felt this novel was revolutionary. The title gave it a patriotic flavor as well. Steinbeck was hoping to calm critics who would say it had a Communist leaning.

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