Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. Authors often use various styles and techniques in their novels to make their stories more realistic.
John Steinbeck uses many literary techniques in The Grapes of Wrath to help the reader better understand the story. The interchapters often foreshadow the regular chapters and provide a general picture of what was happening during that time period in America. The regular chapters focus on the Joad family’s journey to California, while the interchapters relate to their adventures. As the story progresses, the interchapters become predictable, creating a rhythmical pattern. Steinbeck also uses a dialect throughout the story to give readers a sense of how people spoke during that time period.
This also aids the reader in feeling like they are part of the story and helps them understand the way things were back then. Many slang words and phrases typical of the early 1900s are used to make the conversations true to life. For instance, in the first chapter at the roadside diner, the conversation between the customer and the waitress immediately tells the reader the kind of dialect that will be used during the story. Steinbeck has a distinctive writing style. He uses descriptive phrases and words to help give the reader a clear picture of what is happening in the story. His use of alliteration and repetition makes the sentences and paragraphs easier to follow due to the added rhythm and flow.
Steinbeck uses symbolism to show the importance of ideals and main themes in the novel. For example, the turtle walking across the road represents the long, treacherous journeys many families took to reach California. The dust settling over the crops symbolizes the harshness that forced people off the land. Rose of Sharon’s stillborn baby shows that long, painful journeys filled with problems sometimes amount to nothing. To understand the story and its hidden meanings, the reader must pick up on Steinbeck’s writing style.
These writing techniques of Steinbeck aid the reader in analyzing The Grapes of Wrath.