Grapes of Wrath Essay: Steinbeck's Powerful Style

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The Powerful Style of The Grapes of Wrath

When Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, our country was just starting to recover from The Great Depression. The novel he wrote, though fiction, was not an uncommon tale in many lives. When this book was first published, the majority of those reading it understood where it was coming from-they had lived it. But now very few people understand the horrors of what went on in that time. The style in which Steinbeck chose to write The Grapes of Wrath helps get across the book's message.

Early in the 1930's Steinbeck wrote, "The trees and the muscled mountains are the world-but not the world apart from man-the world and man-the one inseparable unit man and his environment. Why
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He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement." He strove to fulfill this commission with a passion.

Steinbeck indicates his social concerns directly in his corollary chapters, where he explains how these events are history repeating itself. And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed. The great owners ignored the three cries of history. The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great owners was directed at repression. The money was spent for arms, for gas to protect the great holdings, and spies were sent to catch the murmuring of revolt so that it might be stamped out. The changing economy was ignored, plans for the change ignored; and only means to destroy revolt were considered, while the causes of revolt went on. (Steinbeck 262)

Steinbeck describes how whenever there is a mass migration of people, there will be pity and fear from those
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