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What is the message in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"?- is the...

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chgj | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2008 at 8:39 PM via web

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What is the message in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"?

- is the message that people should join together and work together as one big thing instead of living individual lives we should live a life where we help one another getting the best out of it. That economy works best with hands on economy as Keynes predicted?

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playsthething | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:02 PM (Answer #1)

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Certainly, the idea of people pulling together to survive tough times is an important theme of Steinbeck's book.  You could extrapolate that out that people will always have a better quality of life if they focus on the community around them, rather than on the individual.

Related to that is the theme of hope.  Even though the book paints a really horrible picture of the migrant workers' lives, they are ever hopeful that it will get better.  That is another way that people are able to survive the tough times.  As Studs Terkel said, "hope dies last."  

Last, you could make a case for the idea that Steinbeck is criticizing the class system - the powerlessness of the poor vs. the strength of the rich/dominating.

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