Praises of Glory to Burning the Book: The Uproar Caused by The Grapes of Wrath

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Binkley 1

Robin Binkley

Matt Fox


10 September 2012

Praises of Glory to Burning the Book: The Uproar Caused by The Grapes of Wrath

Written in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath follows the movement of thousands of Midwestern people and the alteration of our country during the Dust Bowl migration from the Midwest to California; it also details the story of the Joad family that joins the migration to California in hopes of a better life. Steinbeck faced many criticisms for his portrayal of the landowners of California, the banks of Oklahoma and his vivid descriptions of the treatment of the immigrant worker and families; however the novel is one of the utmost respected and studied works of social literature of the twentieth century. Although met with strong criticism and condemnation from California and Oklahoma, Steinbeck successfully captured the social and historical climate of 1930's migration and settlement camps.

Oklahoma and California citizens and government were enraged at the bleak picture that Steinbeck's book told of the two states and both states condemned the book as well as asking professors to find inaccuracy in the book, but none could be found and the book could not be refuted (Shockley 352).

Despite the mayhem of people finding the book too severe on the decent residents of California and Oklahoma, the fictional Joad family faced obstacles that were factual and lived by many in both places (Thompson 178). Part of its impact was from its passionate portrayal of the predicament of the poor. As Ma Joad made a meager breakfast for her clan they were surrounded by children, fifteen of them stood silently and watched. Children from the camps were starving and parents could find no work. (Steinbeck 253) Even colleagues of Steinbeck criticized his social and political views. The fiercest...