John Steinbeck's short novel In Dubious Battle was written in 1936, and serves as a precursor to his more famous novel The Grapes of Wrath. In this novel, Steinbeck explores the dynamics of organizing a fruit workers' strike by communist leaders. Mainly through Jim Nolan's point of view, we see how a young man who has lost so much--his family, his job--is pulled into a cause that is greater than himself. As he comes under the dubious influence of Mac, a communist party loyalist, we see the conversion of Jim. At times Mac seems an inspired leader, at others an exploiter. The workers whose reduced wages and dire straits push them to the point of desperation put their trust in these leaders because they have nothing left to lose, even though they know that their strike will result in failure. As the novel progresses, the readers' respect for the dignity that exists among the migrant workers increases while the morality of the communist leadership becomes more "dubious." There are several online sources that will give you the information you need, and these are listed below.
i also found an in-depth summary inthe oxford companion to american literature. i don't know how to trnsfer it from book to
e-mail or i would send it to add tro yupurs. phyllis
THIS IS JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. I NEEDED A FOCUS FOR THE SUMMARY AND YOUR EMPHASS ON jIM AND THE READER'S EMOTIONAL REACTIONS TO THE PLOTARE STEPPINES TO GEREAT DISCUSSIONS.
THANK YOU SUSAN DOE THE EFORT U MADE TO HELP ME. HOPE I MAY RETURN THE FAVOR. PHYLLIS