Migrant Workers In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck follows a fictional family of tenant farmers during the Great Depression, the Joads, who are evicted from their Oklahoma land and forced to migrate west. Steinbeck’s powerful defense of the working poor as well as his indictment of the socio-economic system of 1930s America made the novel was highly controversial upon its 1939 release– many considered it communist or socialist propaganda. Despite that, Eleanor Roosevelt promoted the novel, and her support ultimately led to new labor laws as well as hearings on the conditions in migrant camps. The Grapes of Wrath received significant attention in both political and literary spheres, and it does not disappoint. Steinbeck’s unflinching portrayal of the challenges that the Joads’ face not only allows readers to understand the plight of Depression-era migrant workers, but it also provides invaluable social commentary that is relevant even today. …show more content…
The Dust Bowl refers to the period of time during which the Great Plains was devastated by severe dust storms and drought. This caused widespread agricultural failure, particularly in the areas hardest hit: large portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. At the same time, The Great Depression (the massive economic downturn that began with the 1929 stock market crash) had plunged the country into economic crisis. Desperate to make a profit and realizing that a single corporate-run farm would be more profitable than individual tenant farmers, companies began to take land from

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