The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay

1653 Words7 Pages
In John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, the hardships of the Great Depression lead the Californians and the Okies to treat each other kindly or harshly, based on their own concerns of the future. Social criticism and class conflict are primary themes in this novel because of the unjust treatment the Californians give to the Okies throughout the story, but this is not the only relationship Steinbeck focuses on. He also writes and explains the relationship among the Okies. Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, where a part of this novel takes place, and Steinbeck uses his experience of working as a hired ranch hand during the Great Depression in the novel. The foundation of The Grapes of Wrath are the problems and tragedies that the Great Depression brings to the Okies. During the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929-1939, the stock market crashed and companies and businesses did as well. Banks lost life savings, leaving the majority of the United States broke. Then, sandstorms that covered 5 million square miles of the Midwest left farmers without farms or money (“Grapes,” Novels 114). The bank had to force farmers out of their homes and these farmers and their families began migrating to California and were nicknamed “Okies”. Unfortunately, the Okies were hated by the Californians rather than welcomed. Many different kinds of people in California hated the Okies for various reasons. The first kind of people were the laborers. The laborers hated the Okies
Open Document