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    Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck Essay

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    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is considered a classic novel by many in the literary field. The trials and tribulations of the Joad family and other migrants are told throughout this novel. In order to gain a perspective into the lives of Oakies”, Steinbeck uses themes and language of the troubling times of the Great Depression.

    Some of these aspects are critiqued because of their vulgarity and adult nature. In some places, The Grapes of Wrath has been edited or banned. These challenges undermine Steinbeck’s attempts to add reality to the novel and are unjustified. In 1939, The Grapes of Wrath was published and came under fire for its content.

    Vulgarity and misrepresentation of a preacher were the main complaints that led to the ban and burning of the novel from St. Louis, Missouri libraries in September 1939. Steinbeck used vulgar terms to accurately represent the lingo and slang used by people in the 1930s. Most of the terms considered vulgar may be distasteful, but they serve a purpose. Extreme profanity is not present in the novel, and it is tame compared to slang terms used today.

    Casy, the former preacher who was traveling with the Joads, is not given the connotation of being the most holy man. Casy did not consider himself a minister at the time The Grapes of Wrath takes place. But I ain’t a preacher no more” is spoken many times by Casy, denying that he is a man of the cloth. Indeed, Casy is brutally killed in the novel, but it does not go into graphic, violent detail.

    Once again, Casy’s feelings against the employers and government were common to the time and were used to state that idea. Another point of controversy lies in The Grapes of Wrath’s closing sequence. In this finale, an old man nurses from Rose of Sharon, a young woman whose baby was delivered stillborn. Some believe this is improper, especially for young children.

    In fact, in some states, the sequence is taken out. This sequence may be vulgar, but it is an essential element of the novel and is in no way pornographic. It shows the desperation of the migrants to do anything to survive, no matter what the implications may entail. Those who are missing this ending, such as those who read editions in Texas, are missing this important element of The Grapes of Wrath. These readers may never fully understand the lives of migrants in the 1930s.

    The novel may have some adult content, but it was never meant to be read by young children. The target audience, ages over 14, can look beyond the visual picture and fully ascertain the section’s deeper meaning. Others may critique Steinbeck’s use of socialistic and anti-government messages. During the 1930s, these ideas were very common. In fact, Upton Sinclair, a socialist writer, was nearly elected governor of California. Living conditions, the opposition between the Californians and the Oakies”, and the inability to break out of the depression all added to beliefs of the times.

    Steinbeck was not advocating socialism; he was just reflecting the times. Without the individual beliefs of the reds” and other people who showed either socialistic or anti-establishment messages, the reader would get a dry, unfulfilled perspective of the lives of people during the Great Depression. Censorship does have its place in society. There are many things that are too risqué, degrading, and should not be shown. Pornography, extreme sexual content, and extreme gratuitous violence do not have a place in literature or in society. The Grapes of Wrath does not have any of these aspects.

    Many who choose to ban books with questionable themes are wrapped up in political correctness. Literature should show life as it is, not as someone wishes it to be. While advocates of political correctness may want to change things for the better, they cannot change the past no matter how hard they try.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck Essay. (2018, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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