Illustration of the back a man in a hat and overalls looking towards the farmland

The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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Topics for Further Study

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  • Compare and contrast the current conditions of migrant farm workers in California with those of the migrants of the 1930s. Research current labor laws protecting the rights of these workers today. Have conditions improved in the last sixty years?
  • Besides drought, one cause for the tragedy of the Dust Bowl was poor farming practices—including overgrazing by cattle and failure of farmers to rotate their crops—which exhausted the land’s resources. How have farming practices changed since the 1930s to protect and manage the land to help ensure it will remain fertile for future generations?
  • The mass migration of the Okies to California was caused by drought and economic depression. What other important mass migrations have occurred in U. S. history? Research the reasons behind these migrations and discuss the effects they have had on local economies and societies.

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