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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on February 27, 2017
In the reading of "The .rapes of Wrath", i discovered that the publishers wanted to change the ending out of fear that it might cause the book to be banned. I am glad that Steinbeck declined to follow that advice. The climax of Rose of Sharon sharing her mother's milk with a starving moribund man captures the collective spirit that Stenbeck attempts to bring out in the novel. Throughout the novel, grand economic forces attempt to drive people apart. The Joad's and escally "Ma" realize the importance of the family and work tirelessly to keep it together. The Joad family is a metaphor fr the collective of the people who have been impoverished and driven from their homes by the workings of impersonal inhuman forces. The land company sends the tractors and no human makes the decision.The Joad's lose "Noah" and "Connie". Young "Tom" is driven way. But the family stays together. The family, the family becomes the exploited migrant labor class. The only way to overcome the impersonal inhuman forces that exploit them is to become more human and to join and retain the family.
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Some of the reviewers view this masterpiece as being a clear and historical view of the oppression felt by tens of thousands during this era. There can be no denial of this obvious fact. As this historical novel is read you not only see through the eyes of the author's characters but experience the smells, the sounds, and, most importantly, the emotional impact on the lives of the displaced sharecroppers. Other, less favorable, reviewers find this novel both depressing and very slow moving. With them I also agree for the life of the Joad's was neither joyful nor fast-paced and Steinbeck made certain that we experienced the mundaneness of their existence. My additional conclusion is that this tale can also be viewed as an allegorical of life of Universal Man. Yes, the events are magnified, the helplessness more keenly felt, the oppressors were even more foul and the Joad's life path was even more tragic, but, that being said, we are all like the Joad's and remain powerless against the slings and arrows that society throws at us. Like the Ma Joad, all we want is a peaceful end to our life story..........
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on October 4, 2016
A powerful novel depicting life during the mid-1930s of those personally affected by the dust bowl droughts and the consequent migration to California of families seeking a living. The main theme involves the realities faced by those left by nature and big business with loss of property and home, before, during, and after their migration. Hundred of thousands of homeless Americans were lured to California and found their dreams smashed by rejection, hatred, and little chance to find jobs and feed their families. Present but more subtly than in his later novel, East of Eden, this book reveals Steinbeck's familiarity with biblical themes dealing with the contrast between poor and rich, especially the readiness with which the poor share what little they have while the rich defend their wealth. In our new period of homelessness, this nearly 80 year-old-book is well worth visiting.
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on December 5, 2016
This softcover book is smaller than it looks in the picture, it measures a mear 10.5 x 19cm (4.25 x 7.5"). I do not think that it will stand up to years of readings since it is only glued and the glue is that notorious yellow glue that tends to break down and break away from the spine but time will tell. This edition was published in 1993 and is still supple. I would still purchase this edition hence the four stars. It is written in a clear font on none-white paper which I prefer. There is no forward and no afterward.
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on July 20, 2013
My son needed this book for his English course. I had actually taught it myself. It was a pleasure to revisit the characters, the theme, the era. A classic story and at such an affordable price.
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on November 6, 2016
Shocking. poetic and unexpectedly raw. This is not the Henry Fonda movie. I would not recommend this as a high school or college read. This needs to be read after decades of experience in the U.S., her landscape, her people, her nations within nations. Some of the passages, such as the car salesperson stream of consciousness chapter are strikingly modern. All told, strong medicine.
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on July 4, 2004
As a Junior AP English student, I was bombarded with summer work, and my assignments included chosing a summer book to read from a selected list. I chose the "Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, and was immeadiatly captured in the sad story of the Joads and there turbulent Oddessy. Sad and depressing yes, but hopeless it is not; if anything this book is about hope and compassion and empathy for others, and for many of us, including the characters in this novel, that is a lesson learned the hard way. There will probably never be a writer as talented as John Steinbeck; he has a way of making you not only imagine, but feel what is happening in his story. Steinbeck uses his great skill to show both great beauty and harsh reality, and I hope at the time this book was published that it caused political uproar and brought the people in American aristocracy down to Earth to realize what was occurring. Although people moving from Oklahoma to California are the least of our great nation's worries, the thoughts expressed in this book have the power to open the eyes of Americans to many troubling situations that exist today.
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on January 22, 2004
The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck. It basically describes the tragedy of the Oklahoma sandstorms. The first section of the book is nothing more than a very detailed chapter, describing the sandstorms and the lives of the people living in Oklahoma at this period of time. Steinbeck does a great job at describing the miserable life of these people. I thought this was an essential part of the book because it set the mood of the book. It showed the reader, right away, what was going on in the world, and how horrible it was, before he gets into the characters of the story.
During this horrible time, a family decides to leave Oklahoma like every other family was. They decide to travel to California in search for some fortune from the Gold Rush. Their trip is very long and harsh. They all travel across the country with a carriage and a couple of horses. They experience a lot of hardships on their journey. Close to the end of their trip a family member dies because of a disease in their foot. When the family finally gets to California they are expecting an easy life and they are expecting happiness but all they find is more poverty, like in Oklahoma. Nothing was different.
This is the part of the book when I finally realized the family's pain. I finally started to feel really bad for them. This is a huge reason why I loved this book. Towards the end of the book I had serious feelings for the characters. It amazed me.
The Grapes of Wrath doesn't have a very complex plot. It actually doesn't have much of a plot at all. It simply follows a family through a period of their life.
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on December 4, 2014
John Steinbeck's of Mice and Men is one of my all time favourite books, for a number of reasons this book delivers a powerful punch that is sure to move anyone who reads it. The book was originally published in 1937 and has been adapted to film a number of times (and with some success) but it's the original novel that demands the fullest attention of readers of any genre.

Steinbeck's story is based around two travelling farm workers who have dreams and aspirations for a better life a simple dream to have their own place and a small piece of land. The two main characters feature George Milton an uneducated man but with some natural intelligence, and Lennie Small who is somewhat backward and simple but with a kind heart and enormous physical strength/

George is plays something or a guardian role for Lennie he looks out for him and tries to keep him out of trouble as much as possible. Lennie is often unaware of the consequences of his actions and cannot comprehend his strength, but has a kind heart and a love of rabbits and small soft animals.

The two soon start working on a farm and all goes well at the start but it's clear that the farm owners son (Curley) has an intense dislike of Lennie due to his larger stature and strength. Curley frequently mocks Lennie and tries to provoke him at every opportunity this ends in a physical confrontation in which Lennie crushes the hand of Curley demonstrating in a brutal way how strong he is. Despite this set back things settle down as Curley realises he was the instigator and lets thing lie.

On the ranch an older man in the shape of Candy, a worker/handyman who lost his hand in an accident offers to join the two men and contribute his savings to go with them and get a place of their own. Candy feels his days of being useful on the farm are numbers and shares the dreams of George and Lennie, but their plans are soon tested when Curly's Wife (who is clearly bored and flirts with the ranch workers) unwittingly tests the strength of Lennie with dire consequences.

It's a straight forward and simple story that harks back to the era of the great depression but seizes on the hopes and dreams of people in the time of a better life with some security. Steinbeck's ending is crushing in it's intensity as the dream becomes a shattered reality rather than take an obvious way out he's chosen to leave a very lasting impression on readers. The authors ability to absorb the reader in both the characters and environment is unsurpassed he grabs you in and refuses to let go, the title of "classic" is often banded around a bit too much, in this case the story is magnificent; the execution near flawless and without question a modern masterpiece. Regardless of your preference in books taste or genre this is not to be missed
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on April 1, 2017
That book traces the story of the displaced Joad family's trek across America to the promised (sic) land of California. It is a cruel story of subsistence and greed. Perhaps it could be described as a not so attractive facet of the American Dream.
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