Grapes of Wrath Language Use

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Grapes of Wrath: Unsophisticated Characters and Language

The Grapes of Wrath poses a different writing scheme than what most modern students may be used to. In the 1930’s, where this novel is set, the characters act and speak in a manner that is very common of their time. Many pieces of literature of this time period didn’t become much more sophisticated. Steinbeck may have aimed to create a novel that all of the general public could relate to, and understand the hardships after the Dustbowl. The characters are relatable and simple, the dialogue is easy to understand, and reflects the people of the generation.

The novels protagonist, Tom Joad is a simple man who has recently been released from prison. He is not sophisticated. He acts as he does, and does as he acts. He speaks in a dialect like everyone else in the novel, and he is easy to understand. Steinbeck wanted him to be relatable to others reading the novel. His writing differs from others that have been popular such as Dickens and Shakespeare. No reader could easily identify the direct emotions and understand perfectly in those novels/plays. Readers can relate to Tom Joad and understand him like no other character before. Tom Joad says a very meaningful qoute that explains his character. “The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man.” Joad is just a relatable, strong, hard-working Man who has values.

The dialogue is accurately represented of the time period and accent of the location. Simple folk from oklahoma speak english with a strong southern accent. They didn’t use detailed or large words, so anyone from a child to an adult could understand what was happening and being said. The dialect reflects exactly how one would say the words in the proper accent. The dialogue connected with the simple characters, and displayed the actions of them in a simple way. This method got Steinbeck's themes across simply and...
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