The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 8.5/10

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a novel about the Great Depression and the impact it had on a poor family moving out west called the Joads. They were forced off their land due to drought, economic hardships, and bank closures which forces the tenant farmers out of work. And if they decided not to leave their precious home they would have experienced a big tractor destroying their land and home anyway. This in of itself was unfair and even more grueling that after spending their whole lives at one place had to move to the unfamiliar territory of California which was over 1500 miles away. In California they and other migrators were promised high paying jobs, housing, and lots of food for everyone but that was simply not the case. After piling into one automobile and traveling that distance where they encountered many mishaps of car trouble and deaths the family got to California hoping for a better life but only finding what they had ended with in Oklahoma. No jobs and no where to live. They had been lied to and were forced to camp alongside the road with all the other migrants. Despite their situation no one was willing to help them. The police would burn their camps and arrest anyone for very small crimes and local citizens would either call them names or worse try to kill them. The Joads had to deal with this harsh reality and try to push through the struggles they were facing. Eventually they do find a job of picking peaches but it proves to be brutal where they get payed only a few cents for each basket they fill and they don’t get to eat any of the peaches they pick. So they decide to move on where they find a cotton farm to work at which is better but not sufficient. They are still met with the problem of a place to live. The novel eventually ends with a big flood which is the result of a lot of rain after many months of hot, dry weather. The family then takes refuge in a barn atop a hill where I believe it’s a symbol of a new beginning for them.

I thought this book was very enjoyable to read because of the way it told about the reality of the Great Depression and how it opened up my mind to the struggles people encountered along the way. But I thought it was also very sad and solemn to read. Furthermore I did not like the ending because of how it left you on a cliffhanger and of how sad it was that they were left with nothing but a barn to live under and nothing else. I guess it is historically true though. I would recommend this book to people who like learning about American history because in a way it was like a history book with many examples of the migrants troubles such as injustice by the Californeans. Though it was very depressing it opened up my mind to the harsh reality of the Great Depression. It also was very exciting too due to all of the great descriptions the author gave you and the adventures the Joads went through and perils they faced.


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