In Dubious Battle

Topics: Great Depression, John Steinbeck, 1930s Pages: 2 (612 words) Published: September 30, 2000
We are lucky to have many talented writers who have successfully taught US history through their outstanding pieces of literature. One writer of this kind is John Steinbeck in the novel In Dubious Battle. It takes place in the 1930's when Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt was President. The story is set in a small, rural, part of California, which is known as the Torgas Valley. The novel occurred before World War II at the late part of the Great Depression. The US was still recovering from the downfall from most of the American Industries that fell during the Great Depression. Due to the Industrial Revolution, there were no longer any large industries to support the overflowing amount of workers. The farms were the only place that needed a large work force. Therefore many of the workers had to move to the rural areas to support their needs and to survive. The farm owners were now able to cut the wages significantly, knowing that the workers would not quit and they would get all the work done.

The main character in In Dubious Battle is Jim Nolan. Throughout the novel his life constantly changes. No day is typical in his life. At first he was a normal working man in the urban parts of California. However, he was not satisfied with his job and wanted to have a completely different life. He then decided to join the Reds, or Radicals, which was a Party that wanted to start strikes and protest against the low wages given to all the workers. Mac Mcleod, which was the Party Organizer, had a strong influence on Jim's daily life. Jim would follow Mac around town and find sympathizers who would help the Reds by contributing food, money, and shelter whenever needed. Jim was given different jobs such as dropping off letters in the mailboxes, typing different paper works, and stamping letters.

In the middle of the novel, Jim's real experience as a Red was at the apple orchard in the Torgas Valley. On a ideal day, he would wake up at dawn from the tent, eat a horrible...
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