The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Decent Essays

John Steinbeck’s use of the intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath helps weave the reader’s sympathy of the Joad family into a more broad sympathy for the migrant farmers as a whole, in the hopes that the readers would then be compelled to act upon what they have read. During the Great Depression, people had a big disconnect about what was happening in various parts of the country. People often struggle to find sympathy for events when they can’t even visualize a person who is suffering through those events, or think of an actual scene where people are struggling. So, when John Steinbeck sat down to write The Grapes of Wrath, he needed to get many complicated and intense points across. That alone would not serve his purpose. One of Steinbeck’s biggest points is, “Repression works only to strengthen the repressed.” (Steinbeck). The problem with just stating complex points like that, unfortunately, is that people cannot just read that and understand the entire meaning of that. There is a lot more behind that message, and with that in mind Steinbeck knew he needed to make his readers see a full picture of what was happening. It needed a more personal message to truly hit home. Enter the Joad family. He made sure that they were easy to love and could grow on people’s hearts. By using a variety of different characters with different personalities, Steinbeck was able to show different sides of the Depression and insure that almost everyone had at least one character

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