Analysis Of The Grapes Of Wrath

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Most, not all, stories have their happy ending- the ending that fixes all of the problems ever encountered during the story. However, in the historical fiction The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck in 1939, the Joad family travels west to California in search of “a better life”, only to face the true fury of the Great Depression countless times. Steinbeck ends the story on an abruptly stunning note to prove the truth: poor American families were left to survive like animals as the result of a neglectful society.
The conclusion of The Grapes of Wrath rattled readers and media across America. The final scene consists of Rose of Sharon, a young woman coping with the loss of a recent stillbirth, breastfeeding a grown starving man. “He shook his head slowly side to side. Rose of Sharon loosened one side of the blanket and bared her breast. “You got to.””(Steinbeck 580). And that was it. The book terminates. This bizarre ending dramatically revealed an obscure reality that migrant workers might have faced. Even now people cannot wrap their head around the ending’s startling image. According to John Royston on his article addressing the emotional and narrative significance of the ending, “Studies have criticized it as a purely symbolic scene that does little to resolve the otherwise realistic novel.” Innumerable times the novel was faced with conflict and just enough resolution to get by. But why was the ending left open? Steinbeck leads the reader on to believe that

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