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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck


Anger leaps from the pages of this interchapter. You can almost feel the author's wrath.

Steinbeck starts slowly, describing for us in poetic language beautiful springtime in California. The land is bountiful, like Mother Earth. It brings forth big, sweet, luscious fruit that makes the mouth water.

But lurking in this land of plenty there is a harsh reality- the economic principle of supply and demand. When farmers grow too much, food prices drop; when there's a shortage, prices rise.

At the time of our story, prices are so low that the farmers can't even afford to harvest their crops. So peaches are left to rot on the trees, grapes to wither on the vine. Oranges are burned, corn and potatoes bulldozed into the ground.

Debt creeps up on the little farmers and drives them out of business. Only the large farmers, the ones with canneries, can survive. Fruit and vegetables last for years vacuum-packed inside a can.

Now, here is the root of anger and shame: While food is being buried and burned, hundreds of thousands of malnourished, underfed people roam the countryside. What does a man with a starving child do when food is deliberately destroyed before his eyes? What can he feel but rage?  


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© Copyright 1984 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.
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