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The New World

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Snacks1 Comment

I enjoyed Jason Spangler’s We’re on a road to nowhere: Steinbeck, Kerouac, and the Legacy of The Great Depression about as much as I’ve enjoyed any reading this semester. The reading was insightful and provided a lens into how two of the seminal American literary masterpieces, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road are actually …

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Unity

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by AadiLeave a Comment

The beauty of ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is that the family joined together to persevere through the difficult times. In traveling away from their native farm, they all risked their own lives. The entire family quickly realized they would have to put their individual motives aside for the greater good of the people. Each member has their own personality and driving …

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Union

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by EsabelleYCLeave a Comment

Besides the maturing and transformation of individual characters, there is an overarching theme of the unifying of men that supports, and at the same time is supported by, the transience of each main character. In the first half of the book, the author uses the mouthpieces of the people the Joads meet along the way to build up his portrayal …

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At the Hands of Another

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Michael1 Comment

The plight of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is no exception the other works we have read this semester in the sense that all of the main characters’ suffering was caused by other human beings. At the beginning of the novel, the Joan’s family farm was repossessed by the bank, and the family was forced to move out West. As …

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Rose of Sharon’s Smile

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Kiril1 Comment

I find it particularly striking that, by the time the reader reaches the end of the book, there is little or one could even say nothing to look forward to. There is no apparent resolution to anything in the book. Grampa and then Granma Joad died. Noah left the family. Connie fled, afraid to be a husband and a father. …

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The Powerful and the Powerless

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by VeronicaLeave a Comment

Throughout John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” incidents of corruption occur in which the poor, or the powerless, are exploited by the rich, or the powerful. There seems to be this struggle of power, especially nearing the end of the novel. I want to explore this struggle of power, first by discussing how people in power keep themselves in power …

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Can humans manage themselves?

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by CocoLeave a Comment

What interested me a lot was the government-run camp in Weedpatch, in which Tom and the family stay at for a little while. The camp that the family enters somewhat resembles a socialistic-mini-utopia. There are public spaces and private spaces in the camp. Each family has their camp setup where they sleep and cook and eat, yet all camp members share …

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What You Don’t See Flying Over Middle America

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Laura1 Comment

John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath received rave reviews at the time of its publishing and simultaneously ignited a group of dissenters protesting the inaccuracy of the depiction of Oklahoma and the hardships of the time. Samantha Baskind wrote in her article The “True” Story: Life Magazine, Horace Bristol, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath about the large …

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Conspiring Against Community

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by JaxxLeave a Comment

I remember discussing the theme of community in Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing. While there were some instances during the Depression when people had the greedy, every-man-for-himself attitude, I’ve found it is almost always the lower classes that go out of their way to help one another. In Waiting for Nothing, Kromer and a woman plan a meal with the …

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The Man V. The Employee

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Agne1 Comment

There is no better passage in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck that describes the frustration and hatred for the wealthy and powerful better than this one: “Burn the goddamn place down, for all I care.” “Looks like you don’t love your boss none.”… “I hate ‘im… I hate the son-of-a-bitch!” (178) In this interaction between Al and Tom …

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The Pursuit of Pleasure

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Emily2 Comments

During my reading of the second half of the novel Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I was struck by the ways in which people entertained themselves to get their minds, if only momentarily or for a night, off of their desperate situations. The theme of using different coping mechanisms to remain sane fascinates me. Personally,  I find it hard …

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America against America

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Dennis1 Comment

The concluding chapters of Grapes of Wrath further the destitute image of America that the novel had built up before. However, the biggest difference from Steinbeck’s work and the works of many other depression era writers is that there is a hopeful ending. The novel takes many symbols and elements from the bible and many figures in the story are …

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Subjective Truth

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Khirad2 Comments

Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” is certainly not a light-hearted book, especially towards the end. The issues explored are deeply socio-political, but also human at heart. However, when discussing polarizing issues that are based in political critique, an interesting question on intended audience arises. Nicholas Visser’s article “Audience and Closure in the Grapes of Wrath” discusses the issue of figuring out …

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To Start a Revolution

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by Lu Maw2 Comments

In my last post, I wrote about the possibility of a revolution in the second half of this book. I strongly believed there were many hints foreshadowing some sort of overthrow, such as the “I to we” concept. However, after finishing the novel, I was reminded of Kromer’s “Waiting for Nothing,” of the impact constant hunger has on an individual. …