In a jittery, newly authoritarian land of hatred and hurt, chastened criminal and social justice reformers and human rights advocates can find solace and sustenance in the words and works of the incomparable John Steinbeck, one of America’s greatest writers and psychoanalysts. In his opus and Pulitzer Prize winning The Grapes of Wrath, spotlighting exploitative and inhumane labor practices and living conditions of migrant agricultural workers during the Great Depression, Steinbeck masterfully wrote:
“[F]ailure hangs over the State like a great sorrow . . . . And the smell of rot fills the country . . . . There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success . . . . [A]nd, in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is the growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.” Read more.