The Grapes of Wrath: Connections to the Great Depression

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The Grapes of Wrath: Connections to the Great Depression

The decaying state of the American economy and the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s brought about the necessity for the United States to reconsider its attitudes and examine the long term effects of its policies concerning wide-scale socioeconomic problems that were constantly growing bigger. The Great Depression led to the creation of many new and innovative government policies and programs, along with revisions to older economic systems. However, these cost the government billions of dollars in a country that had consistently been stretching the gap between the rich and poor. This continued as the Great Depression began to change everything people had grown old knowing,
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"Every moving thing lifted the dust into the air: a walking man lifted a thin layer as high as his waist, and a wagon lifted the dust as high as the fence tops, and an automobile boiled a cloud behind it. The dust was long and settling back again." (Steinbeck 4)

Crops had indeed been ruined as well, and for a long while. It took many futile attempts from farmers at replanting their wheat to realize this; the earth-uprooting storms did not spare anymore crops a chance. After seeing that all efforts put into this region were proving to be in vain, farmers had decided to move out west (Mostly to California for its professed jobs and beautiful land and climate) in a struggling effort for survival. They began migrating using any jalopies or old cars that they could obtain and hopping on Route 66, which would take them where they needed to go. "The people in flight streamed out on Route 66, sometimes a single car, sometimes a little caravan. All day they rolled slowly along the road and at night they stopped near water". (Steinbeck 152) A large amount of the migrants came from the heavily dust-infested Oklahoma. Many of these unfortunate folk were looked down upon and prejudiced against because they could only pray for jobs that could give them the wages they needed to purchase food and endure. The migrant Americans,
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