The Grapes Of Wrath And Virginia Woolf 's Mrs. Dalloway

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The mid twentieth century represents a turbulent period of history in the western world- from the devastating effects of the Great Depression that began in 1929 to the bloodshed of World War II, people were forced to adapt to unfamiliar and changing circumstances. The effects of these events were especially felt in the United States and Britain, and the two countries set the scene for John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. The Grapes of Wrath recounts the tale of the Joad family, farm owners who, after being forced off their land by big business, head west to California in search of work only to find discrimination and further hardship. Their story exemplifies the struggles faced by low-income families unequipped to deal with the changing reality of the American economy and reveals the nature of big business and unregulated capitalism. At first glance, it seems that Mrs. Dalloway tells a very different story. Clarissa Dalloway, a wealthy London woman, is spending her day planning one of her extravagant parties. Although its characters are not struggling to find their next meal, through a stream-of-consciousness style and an array of unique and complex characters the novel tackles many of the same problems seen in The Grapes of Wrath. As these two nations face and recover from their respective crises, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway highlight the changing ways in which the American and British people interact with

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