What is the meaning of the title The Grapes of Wrath?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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The Grapes of Wrath

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