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05 November 2021

It was truly an extraordinary book that I would highly recommend reading – The Grapes of Wrath book review


Lower Sixth student Jacob reviews John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath.


The Grapes of Wrath is set during the Great Depression. This novel focuses on the character of Joad, who has a poor family of tenant farmers which have been forced to leave Oklahoma because of drought, economic hardship, and because the agricultural industry of farming has changed. Unfortunately the bank has closed causing the tenant farmers to be out of work, and so the Dust Bowl Joad begins to set out for work, land, and glory.

My favorite character in this novel, is the character Ma Joad because her personality is wildly dedicated to her duty as a matron. Also, throughout the novel she makes sacrifices for the good of her family and is outstandingly committed to keeping the family moving forward. However, sometimes her confidence in leadership can have a conflicting encounter with Pa’s ideas and beliefs. What impresses me about this character is her self-command to always win out over his patriarchal authority as well as to care for her family and provide comfort, healing, nourishment, and support.

This novel explores a number of issues such as unemployment being the majority aspect of the Grapes of Wrath, the distressing tale and mission for survival dominates most of the text and the sacrifices that are made are thought provoking, giving the audience an emotional response.

In addition to this, it is impossible to put the The Grapes of Wrath down. I found the book interesting in terms of the context  of the American Dream and how John Steinbeck presents the characters. The challenges they face is remarkable to read. This is a must-read book, it features the themes of humanity, inhumanity, dehumanization, dignity, honor, wrath, faith, guilt, powerlessness, perseverance, resistance, faith, family, and community.

In conclusion, it was truly an extraordinary book, and I would highly recommend reading The Grapes of Wrath as a starting point for American Literature as it will give a basis of knowledge. Furthermore, if you are looking for a book that provokes an emotional response to its audience but intrigues the audience to find out more about what is happening as well as expanding your thoughts on American Literature, then this is the book for you.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK
ISBN: 9780241980347