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 Post subject: Grapes of Wrath
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:59 pm 
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I finished The Grapes of Wrath, not that long ago and I did like it more then I had expected considering I am not in general a big fan of Steinbeck or the way he writes. It was a good story displaying the way of life for the immigrants from the south during the time of the dust bowl, and a lot of comparisons could be drawn from that to today and the immigrants of Mexico. I do generally like books that still hold some relevance to the current world and times. But I was left uneasy by the ending of the book. For one thing it felt as if no real closure was given to the story, the characters were just left hanging, and in some ways I could see where this could be a useful tact for a writer, but in other ways, it makes the story feel like there is no real point behind it being made. The other thing about the ending was the fact that I found the end took a very bazaar twist, that could be read in a few different ways. And when an author ends a book on such a powerful and perhaps disturbing note as that it is usually to make some definitive point. It is meant to catch the readers eye. Though it still left me with some questions and feelings of uncertainty, like everything is still up in the air.

I was just wondering what others who have read it might have thought of the ending, or just the book in genreal.

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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 2:01 am 
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so, i just finished reading the novel about 2 weeks ago. overall i enjoyed it. now about the controversial ending...
from a biography on steinbeck i found out that the closing scene with rose of sharon and the dying father is actually based on a true story. steinbeck went around asking people for good stories and such they knew of, if they had one, he would pay them for telling. one time he came across a group of very poor, and homeless i believe, people and asked them the same. he got a few responses, mostly comedic, but then one man told steinbeck of how when he was younger he was trying to get somewhere on foot and ended up getting lost for a couple of days, and had quickly run out of food. the wife of a house nearby found him and had him taken back to her house and he was put to bed there. the boy was too weak to really eat anything though he needed to badly for the sake of his survival. the wife who had just been pregnant went over to the bed to the boy and...that is where the story takes over in grapes of wrath.
(sorry for the ambiguity in the details of the story..)

the scene in grapes of wrath i found striking, yet natural..powerful. having in mind that it is basically a true story made it more so.

i may have forgotten part of your reason for posting...so i'll go look at that again.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 2:27 am 
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okay, just read it over again..and yet i'll probably still not address it all. ah well.

perhaps that the ending left you uneasy and like there was no real closure was part of what steinbeck wanted people to take from the book. as you said yourself, many of the issues presented still hold relevancy today. no closure has been reached in the world, so none was reached in the book. the uneasiness purposeful to arouse disturbance in the public at the issues, to inspsire. to inspire change. perhaps people would seek to find out if people are still going through such hardships. finding they are, maybe they would seek to right things, to bring that closure and peace of mind. there is hardship, difficulty, poverty, pain, starvation, human weakness, etc. in the world as the setting of the ending scene shows...but it also shows that there is still kindness, human strength,empathy, will to live, change (more specifically-that people can change, and progress in character.), dignity (again, more specifically..it can prevoke questioning of what dignity is, what will make someone lose it, and in situations normally considered to cause loss of dignity...,is it really lost?,etc.) hope, trust, etc. in that very same world.

no real closure was given to the story/world. the characters/people were/are left hanging...i think part of the point could be that "everything still is left up in the air"..


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:53 am 
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I strongly disliked Grapes of Wrath. I can't understand the appeal in any way. Give me bold 19th-century men of valor over insipid, wretched destitutes.

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