The Grapes of Wrath

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Penguin Books, 2002 - Fiction - 455 pages
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized--and sometimes outraged--millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads--driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

This Centennial edition, specially designed to commemorate one hundred years of Steinbeck, features french flaps and deckle-edged pages.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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User Review  - ainjel - www.librarything.com

Steinbeck is one of the greatest writers that has ever lived. His prose is so lush, his characters so real they don't even feel like characters. They're just people. People who are dying. People who ... Read full review

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User Review  - ecataldi - www.librarything.com

Alternative title: Running Over Animals and Slowly Starving. This tour de force about trying to survive during the great depression is eloquent in it's simplicity. The Grapes of Wrath follows one ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter 1
2
Chapter 2
6
Chapter 3
15
Copyright

27 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Introduction


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30


Notes

PENGUINCLASSICS

THE GRAPES OF WRATH

Born in Salinas, California, in 1902, JOHN STEINBECK grew up in a fertile agricultural valley about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast—and both valley and coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California fictions, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon Is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1947), The Pearl (1947), A Russian Journal (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceeded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history. The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include Sweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata! (1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989). He died in 1968, having won a Nobel Prize in 1962.

ROBERT DEMOTT is Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor at Ohio University, where he has received half a dozen undergraduate and graduate teaching awards, including the Jeanette G. Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award and the Honors College’s Outstanding Tutor Award. He is a former director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University, and served for more than three decades on the editorial boards of the Steinbeck Quarterly, Steinbeck Newsletter, and Steinbeck Studies. He is editor (with Elaine Steinbeck as Special Consultant) of the Library of America’s multivolume edition of John Steinbeck’s writings, of which Novels and Stories 1932-1937 (1994), The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings 1936-1942

(1996), and Novels 1942-1952 (2001) have so far appeared. His annotated edition of John Steinbeck’s Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book in 1989, and his Steinbeck’s Typewriter: Essays on His Art (1996) received the Nancy Dasher Book Award from the College English Association of Ohio in 1998.

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First published in the United States of America by The Viking Press 1939
Published in a Viking Compass edition 1958
Published in Penguin Books 1976
Edition with an introduction by Robert DeMott published 1992
This edition with notes by Robert DeMott published 2006

Copyright John Steinbeck, 1939

Copyright renewed John Steinbeck, 1967
Introduction copyright Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 1992
Notes copyright Robert DeMott, 2006
All rights reserved

Some of the endnotes are reprinted from The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings, 1936-1941, edited by
Robert DeMott and Elaine Steinbeck, The Library of America, 1996. Copyright 1996 by Literary Classics
of the United States. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath / John Steinbeck ; introduction and notes by Robert DeMott.
p. cm.—(Penguin classics)

ISBN: 9781440637124

1. Migrant agricultural laborers—Fiction. 2. Rural families—Fiction. 3. Depressions—Fiction.
4. Labor camps—Fiction. 5. California—Fiction. 6. Oklahoma—Fiction. 7. Domestic fiction.
8. Political fiction. I. Title. II. Series.
PS3537.T3234G8 2006
813’.52—dc22 2005058182

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appreciated.

To CAROL who willed it.

To TOM who lived it.1

Introduction

“My whole work drive has been aimed at making people understand each other. . . .”

—Steinbeck in a 1938 letter

“Boileau said that Kings, Gods, and Heroes only were fit subjects for literature. The writer can only write about what he admires. Present day kings aren’t very inspiring, the gods are on a vacation, and about the only heroes left are the scientists and the poor. . . . And since our race admires gallantry, the writer will deal with it where he finds it. He finds it in the struggling poor now.”

—Steinbeck in a 1939 radio interview

I

The Grapes of Wrath is one of the most famous novels in America— perhaps even in the world. When John Steinbeck wrote this book he had no inkling that it would attain such widespread recognition, though he did have high hopes for its effectiveness. On June 18, 1938, a little more than three weeks after starting his unnamed new manuscript, Steinbeck confided in his daily journal (posthumously published in 1989 as Working Days):

If I could do this book properly it would be one of the really fine books and a truly American book. But I am assailed with my own ignorance and inability. I’ll just have to work from a background of these. Honesty. If I can keep an honesty it is all I can expect of my poor brain. . . . If I can do that it will be all my lack of genius can produce. For no one else knows my lack of ability the way I do. I am pushing against it all the time.

Despite Steinbeck’s doubts, which were grave and constant during its composition, The Grapes of Wrath turned out to be not only a fine book, but the most renowned and celebrated of his seventeen novels. Steinbeck’s liberal mixture of native philosophy, common-sense leftist politics, blue-collar radicalism, working-class characters, homespun folk wisdom, and digressive narrative form—all set to a bold, rhythmic style and nervy, raw dialogue—qualified the novel as the “American book” he had set out to write. The novel’s title—from Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic”—was clearly in the American grain—and Steinbeck, a loyal Rooseveltian New Deal Democrat, liked the song “because it is a march and this book is a kind of march—because it is in our own revolutionary tradition and because in reference to this book it has a large meaning,” he announced on September 10, 19

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