The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath book cover
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Explain the style of John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath.

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John Steinbeck's was able to convey the desperation of people during extreme adversity in his works set during the Great Depression. Steinbeck writes about this in his novella, Of Mice and Men, and again in his novel The Grapes of Wrath, which follows a family across the country as they search for a better life during this time period.

The Grapes of Wrath is about the Joad family: they are disenfranchised like so many others during the 1930s. Steinbeck's first-hand experience with the desperation of the poor came while he worked as a reporter in Salinas, California (in the area know as the Long Valley), where Of Mice and Men is set. This novel is set in...

...the San Joaquin Valley, which lies east of the Long Valley and the Gabilan Mountains.

The themes of alienation and loss are seen in the story of the Joads, as well as the individual vs society, class conflict, commitment, etc.

Steinbeck's style is unusual with the author's use of "point of view," or the perspective from which the story is told. Third person is used here, and while the story of the Joads is told in the even-numbered chapters, the details of the Depression are generally presented in the odd-numbered chapters that act like a commentary to the reader, and provide...

...social and historical background of the mid-1930s Depression era, especially as it affects migrants...

The reader is also exposed to a great deal of information, from...

...the Dust Bowl and agricultural conditions in Oklahoma, to California’s history, to descriptions of roads leading west...

Steinbeck uses the "even" chapters to convey the sense of family...

(The entire section contains 585 words.)

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