The Steinbeck 's The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

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Set in the swallowing depression of the 1920’s, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck provides a hallowing, realistic view into the plight of the proletariat farmer and the exploitation that was all too common during the Great Depression by major corporations. Steinbeck’s literary work serves as a window into the world of the great depression by not only providing a narrative history of the era, but also giving faces to the nameless victims through the characters of Tom Joad, the lead protagonist of the story and Ma, the archetypal matriarch of the house in this 1930’s piece of literature. Steinbeck also uses key stylistic tools to further enlighten and inform the reader to the plight of the farmers and poor folk of the 1930’s. The…show more content…
For the farmers, the combined years of drought, price caps set by the federal government to maintain low prices during World War I, and artificial inflation of the value of major farming corporations had led to a scenario that can only be dubbed the perfect storm of the farming industry. Many farmers found themselves out of work by 1925 with millions being forced off their properties as the banks reposed land bought on credit much the same as the stocks that caused the market crash of 1929.

The embodiment of the countless millions who lost their farms and land is portrayed through the primary protagonist, Tom Joad. Tom represents the common man of the late twenties and early thirties. After being paroled from prison for homicide he returns to his family’s home in Oklahoma, only to find it abandoned as the dust bowl had ravaged the land much the same as countless other farmers of the time. On his way back from prison to his family’s farm Tom reveals his most earnest quality, his honesty and ability to call things as he sees them. Tom realizes that the large corporations are exploiting everyday people and expresses this belief by saying, ”sometimes a guy 'll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker.” (Steinbeck, 11). To the truck driver who refuses him a ride at first due to the corporate sticker stating “no hitch hikers allowed” clearly on the
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