Sanfranannie's Reviews > The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
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Nov 01, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended to Sanfranannie by: Deborah Valentine
Read in January, 2008

This book deserves all the praise it's been given.
My mom, a former english teacher, discovered that I hadn't read it and mailed me a copy. Let me say that I'm SO thankful I didn't read it in high school as many have. I can't imagine that I would've appreciated it half as much back then and it's too bad that so many folks have experienced it from that adolescent standpoint (although I do think it should be required reading when learning about the history of the U.S.).

The writing is beautiful & complex - both with an intriguing plot and entire chapters of symbology commenting on the societal shifts of the time. The characters have incredible layers & depth. And even though it's clear who Steinbeck feels are the most sympathetic people, he writes about each person with compassion, helping us see how even the 'bad guys' have inner struggles.

I assumed the book would likely just come to an end, as many of these types of books do. However, Steinbeck created a beautiful, disquieting, touching scene which must've garnered criticism during it's time, but still has the power to deliver an emotional shock now. I felt like applauding.

I'm a social worker and deal with homeless people on a regular basis and I can see how easy it would be for a population unaccustomed to dealing with large groups of dirty, poor & hungry people to grow callous, feel threatened and develop harsh, dehumanizing stereotypes. Steinbeck's message is a strong reminder for us to think of each homeless begger as someone who has been failed by the system; as a real person with feelings & a desire to succeed. It gets us in touch with what it feels like to be hungry, or not be able to receive medical care when you're sick, or to sleep in cold, uncomfortable spaces, never being able to make a permanent home for yourself.

A book this powerful on so many levels, deserves it's full designation as a classic. Highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Philip Patrick I just read your review and think we had much the same experience: missed it in high school / college and got to read it at an age, thank god, when it was not laborious, but a labor of discovery. And, yes, that ending.


Gary I posted a review on this one myself.....


Gary Have you read the book about the burning of the book in California???It's a must read too, being a fan of GRAPES.

OBSCENE IN THE EXTREME: THE BURNING AND BANNING OF JOHN STEINBECK'S THE GRAPES OF WRATH by Rick Wartzman.


Sanfranannie Thanks for the recommendation!


Dhiraj Sharma Really nice review......You have hit the nail on the head.....I have been thinking of reading this book for quite some time but couldn't do so....its your review which compelled me to order "The Grapes of Wrath" right now . ..Thanks.


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