Jun 28, 2012
Review: Understanding The Grapes of Wrath: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents
Understanding The Grapes of Wrath: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents by Claudia Durst Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found this book very educational about the importance of the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The book explained the suffering and sacrifice that migrant farm workers faced mostly in California after the Great Depression and even before. This study of Steinbeck's book is filled with chapters explaining how the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression put many working people who had previously owned their own farms, in the situation the fictional characters "the Joab family" we're in in the story.
Chapters tell about the Great Depression, the dirt storms in some states, & the closing of the banks and the devastating effects that had on so many farming families. The crooked large farm owners lured too many workers to them intentionally to pay lower wages and provided no or unfit places to their workers at charge. Many families and hard workers starved and were homeless, harassed by police and locals. When workers tried to strike they were struck down and deprived of their basic constitutional rights.
This text made me realize what a social change The Grapes of Wrath helped to point out the need for. Many people were unaware of the unlivable conditions of migrant workers and the need for fair work treatment by business owners. People were expected to work like slaves for not even enough money to support themselves.
Steinbeck's book Caused quite a stir by bringing to light the horrible treatment going on in our own country. Families dying of starvation and unfit living conditions and being beat down by police and others who were depriving them of their rights of free speech and rights to assemble to name a few. I never realized that Steinbeck's book caused such awareness and helped to bring to light the abuses of these Americans by big business and the greedy.
I would definitely recommend this to any student who needs to understand the importance of The Grapes of Wrath or even understand the migrant farm workers struggles of the early part of last century.
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