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A comparison between the novel and movie, "The Grapes of Wrath".

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A comparison between the novel and movie, "The Grapes of Wrath".

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  • September 7, 2003
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In 1939, John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath to stir up readers against those who were responsible for keeping the American people in poverty. The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of the Joad family, migrant farmers from Oklahoma traveling to California in search of a fantasy of prosperity. The novel's strong position stirred up much controversy, as it was often called Communist propaganda, and banned from schools due to its vulgar language. However, Steinbeck's novel is considered to be his greatest work. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and later became an Academy Award winning movie in 1940. The novel and the movie are both considered to be magnificent masterpieces.

Although both the novel and movie form of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath are considered to be American classics, the novel provides a deeper understanding of the story's time and meaning.

The novel's interchapters provide a greater understanding of the time in which The Grapes of Wrath takes place. First, in the movie it is unclear why the Joads are forced to abandon their farm. It is described very briefly by Muley Graves, leaving you in a state of confusion. However, in the novel, Chapter 5 explains exactly why the farmers are forced to leave. In this interchapter, Steinbeck uses a dialogue between a farmer and a representative from a bank; the farmer is forced to leave because the bank, or the"Monster" as Steinbeck says, needs to make a profit, and if the farmer cannot produce any goods to pay off debts, then the bank forecloses the land. This happened to many farmers in the 1930's due to a drought, demonstrating how the novel gives a better understanding of the time. Second, in the movie, the Joads travel down Route 66 to California. The movie does not discuss the significance of this route. On the other hand, Chapter 12 of the novel describes how Route 66 is a "river of immigrants." This interchapter explains how the thousands traveling Route 66 are refugees from the troubles in the East,...