Grapes Of Wrath Literary Analysis

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The “Grapes of Wrath” (Steinbeck, 1939) (1), written by Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck in 1939, is a classic portrait of the effects of the Great Depression, specifically told through the travels of the Joad family in 1933 as they transition from their failed tenant farm in Oklahoma to seeking a new life in the “land of milk and honey”, California. Steinbeck shows us in detailed ways how individuals are moved by economic forces. He graphically depicts how seemingly impersonal economic forces tragically effect individual lives. The purpose of this paper is to explore various economic themes revealed in this book, specifically identifying and discussing examples that relate to 5 economic market structures: - Pure Competition - Monopolistic Competition…show more content…
And Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came and he had to borrow a little money. An’ we was born here. There in the door – our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we raised.” (Steinbeck, 1939) (1-pg 33) “A man can hold land as long as he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that. Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.” (Steinbeck, 1939) (1-pg 32) These quotes set the stage for the entire story of the Joad family in the rest of the book. It starts with them being forced off of their tenant farm by “the monster1”, the bank foreclosing on their loans that they can’t maintain due to their failed cotton crop in the midst of the horrible dust bowl conditions that year. Millions of acres of farmland became useless and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their lifelong homes. Nearly 750,000 farms were lost through bankruptcy or sheriff sales between 1930 and 1935. (Quinn, 2011) (Mourao,

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