How closely do Nunnally Johnson’s screenplay and John Ford’s direction follow the events and the spirit of the book?We have viewed the 1940 film based on the novel. how do they followed the...

How closely do Nunnally Johnson’s screenplay and John Ford’s direction follow the events and the spirit of the book?

We have viewed the 1940 film based on the novel. how do they followed the novel.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The movie starts out following the book closely and does an excellent job of showing how the tenant farmers in the mid-west lost their homes, interweaving the rise of mechanization, the Great Depression, and the drought as the prevailing reasons.  Grandpa's reluctance to leave his land and his death are also shown.  The Wilson family is eliminated entirely as is the Wainwright family that appears later in the story.  The peach farm and the government camp scenes are flip-flopped, showing the peach farm scene before the government camp scene.  The movie ends with Tom leaving to strike out on his own and continue Jim Casy's work.  Most of the last four chapters are omitted.  The only part that is in the movie is the parting scene between Tom and Ma and Tom's famous "I'll be everywhere" speech.  The movie does not show the boxcars, the birth of Rose of Sharon's baby, Uncle John's emotional speech as he sets the stillborn infant in the box and floats the box in the swollen river, and the starving man in the barn.  These scenes would have been too graphic and emotional for viewers in 1940 I believe.

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The Grapes of Wrath

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