The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does John Steinbeck use social realism in The Grapes of Wrath?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,618 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Social realism is defined as a medium that artists, authors, filmmakers, and photographers portray and depict the everyday lives of poor, working-class individuals. John Steinbeck's use of social realism illustrates the difficulties that migrant workers endured during the Depression as they traveled from Oklahoma to California in hopes of finding work and living comfortable lives. Steinbeck chronicles the difficulties that farming families such as the Joads experienced during the Dust Bowl, as big banks foreclosed on their once prosperous land, leaving families displaced and homeless. While characters such as Muley Graves refuse to leave their land, the Joads pack their belongings and make the arduous journey to California. Along the way, Steinbeck illustrates the various struggles the Joad family endures, which include death, poverty, harassment, angst, and imminent danger.

Throughout the Joad family's journey, Steinbeck also depicts how other poverty-stricken individuals selflessly help...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 514 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial