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1) While its not the most famous line of the movie (Tom's parting monologue takes the cake on that one), I was extremely touched by Ma Joad's quote in Grapes' final moments, "Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out. But we keep a'comin'. We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people." More than anything, I truly believe this statement by Ma digs deep into the fabric of America, capturing the resilience that's been in our country's DNA since its inception. The American Dream, as a concept, stresses hard work and an unremitting tenacity in pursuing one's goals; while Ma Joad may not have lived to reap the fruits of her labor, she undoubtedly understood the essence of the concept. Unlike the rich, who have already achieved this American Dream in Ma's view, the members of the more abundant working class have not been so lucky. This lack of "luck" forces the working class to stay hungry, and only the will to succeed will feed that hunger. While the upper classes gradually lose their tenacity and the "life" inside of them over time, the working class will forever chase the dream of prosperity, thirsty for its taste. (Brian Carroll, Lehigh University)

2) However, while The Grapes of Wrath might have strains of Communist or radical agenda, reducing the novel to merely political propaganda ignores many of the complex and powerful aspects of Steinbeck's narrative. Instead of applying any of these highly politicized terms to the novel, it is instead important to consider why the novel is labeled this way and what this label says about American cultural consciousness. (Lisa Kirby 243)

3) With the exception of Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom's Cabin, Upton Sinclair in The Jungle, and perhaps Richard Wright in Native Son, no protest writer had a greater influence on how Americans looked at their own country [than John Steinbeck]. The plight and migration of the Joads -- as conceived by Steinbeck and filmed indelibly by John Ford -- the Dust Bowl, the loss of a family home, the trek in search of work, the awful conditions for migrant farm labor, the struggle to keep the family together, became a metaphor for the Depression as a whole. This portrayal aroused sympathy and indignation that transcended literature and became part of our social history. (Morris Dickstein 111)

4) As soon as the Joad family leaves Oklahoma, the patriarchal order of the farm begins to disintegrate and is gradually replaced by a matriarchal system characterized by cooperative action and personal sacrifice rather than individual accomplishments and selfish desires. This aspect of the novel not only correlates with the growing awareness of class consciousness and the constant regeneration of the family but also echoes a socio-historical discourse on the origin of societies and communal values that were beginning to develop in the first half of the twentieth century. (Florian Schweiger 204)

5) The monopolistic corporate farms were characterized by John Steinbeck as a “monster” that ate all it could, leaving men, women, and children to fend or starve: “The bank -- the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size." (Robert Miltner 284 [quoting from the novel])

6) The reception of The Grapes of Wrath in Oklahoma suggests many interesting problems particularly pertinent to contemporary regional literature in America. Any honest literary interpretation of a region seems to offend the people of that region. (Martin Shockley 129)

7) What must be recognized . . . is that each [critic of Steinbeck's novel] with great sincerity and, to a large extent, accuracy, described another California--a brawny, confident state that bustled with entrepreneurial zeal. Each defended California against Steinbeck's charges largely by ignoring much of the agony and cruelty he chronicles. Each sought an answer to the "migrant question" without fully comprehending--or perhaps, more significantly, empathizing with--the "problem," the migrants' plight. (Susan Shillinglaw 184)

8) When you gits down to your last bean, your backbone and your navel shakes dice to see which gits it. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

9) Almost everything about the elaborate picture created in the novel is either outright false or exaggerated beyond belief. (Keith Windschuttle)

10) The Grapes of Wrath has been more frequently looked into than looked at. (Sobchack)

11) By juxtaposing nightmarish expressionist scenes of emotional and intellectual content and dazzlingly daylit documentary-style views of the same characters, Ford and Toland pull off a double-pronged manipulation of the audience that steers the viewer away from the easy reassurance of sentimental Hollywood narrative. (Leslie Gossage 116)

12) Yessir, we’re starved, stalled and stranded. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

13) It seemed to me [Bednarek] significant that the characters represented in the movie, though desperately poor and oppressed, were still able to hold on to the idea that they could somehow come to enjoy the American Dream. (Janet Bednarek 83)

14) The irony of the occasion [opening of Ford's The Grapes of Wrath] did not fail to escape [Michel] Mok, who also recorded the presence of the officers and directors of the Chase National Bank and their wives at the event. Not only did Chase National have controlling interest in Twentieth Century Fox, the studio that produced the film, but it also, ironically, was one of the Eastern financial institutions responsible for the dispossession of the Joads and other Dust Bowl farmers like them. (Nina Allen 716-17)

15) The Grapes of Wrath is as fertile and sprawling as the American Dream itself. It is a document about the American spirit, capturing the strifes and struggles of the American Dreamer as he tenaciously pursues the grail that is somewhere in the distance. (Tony Macklin 99)

16) Ford, like most American Romantics, examines the usually doomed individual who attempts to bend his environment to his personality or who tries to maintain his identity against antagonistic cultural, historical, or societal forces beyond his control. (Jim Sanderson 231)

17) The Grapes of Wrath records a phase of class-war as plainly as All Quiet [on the Western Front]. The Grapes of Wrath is the sort of film that the Bolsheviks might have made before the Revolution burst. (William Whitebait)

18) However, rather than advocating a revolution, Steinbeck uses his novel primarily to praise the ability of working people to come together and support one another. Steinbeck is not so much advocating a political uprising as he is seeking some sort of collective action, and there is an important distinction between these two movements. Revolution implies a trampling or upheaval of current systems, while collective action accentuates communal concern in order to provide a needed change. (Lisa Kirby 254)

19) Steinbeck's novel, which idealizes the everyday farmer whose moral code of conduct is carefully worked out and consistently applied, draws on this heritage of a national idealization of rurality. The Joads and others like them are rough but honest, uneducated and but insightful, religiously unorthodox but nonetheless reverent. Above all, they evince the quality of proud independence that is central to Jeffersonian conceptions of yeomanry. (Janet Galligari Casey 264)

20) In his attempt to challenge the very forces that led to the economic and environmental catastrophe of the Dust Bowl migration, Steinbeck not only created an unrivaled sociological portrayal of the "Okie Exodus" but also revealed its actual "revolutionary" potential to change expected "norms" and transform society. The transient existence of the Joads becomes the testing ground for new forms of social organization. (Florian Schweiger 213)

21) What was fact in California, however, must have seemed fantastical to the Joads and their neighbors in Oklahoma. As corporate farming moved east into the Dust Bowl, it effectively displaces small farmers and made them migrant workers who were forced to head for a perceived Eden of California, only to find themselves working for the very system that evicted them. (Robert Miltner 294)

22) The fact that Grapes does not merely envision a utopian possibility but, instead, mirrors a sociological revolution in action, stresses the novel's historiographic function. Steinbeck increasingly blurs the line between fictional representation and sociological snapshot, thereby emphasizing the growing potential for actual change within the seemingly bleak realities of modern America. (Florian Schweiger 207)

23) Through artistic conventions of narrative, Ford’s film presents the inner lives of migrant characters so that the viewer, however prejudiced against the migrants’ appearance, must admit having thoughts, concerns and feelings in common with them. (Leslie Gossage 115)

24) Thus, where the novel moves out both structurally and imagistically from the Joads to continually emphasize the land, biological presence, and the crush of thousands of migrants on the move, the film's movement visually closes in on the Joads, at times to such a degree that they have only a minimal connection with either the land or the rest of society. The characters, of course, do pay lip service to that connection through the dialogue--so much so that a reading of the continuity script alone might result in the impression of a quite different film from the one actually realized on screen. (Vivien Sobchack 74-75)

25) [James] Agee argues that [John] Ford white washes the crass characteristics of Steinbeck's Joads, making them into lovable characteristics and thus promoting a large-scale embrace of their poverty. Ultimately, Ford's adaptation makes what is repugnant about poverty into something that is huggable. (Jason Arthur 166)

26) When American's have spoken about the idea of the American Dream they have often done so in inclusive terms. Anyone can come to the United States and, if they are willing to work hard, can build a new and better life. In practice, however, Americans have behaved in very exclusive ways. Not everyone has been welcome to come to the United States. And, even among native born citizens, not everyone has been invited to share in the American Dream. (Janet Bednarek 85)

27) The campaign against The Grapes of Wrath is motivated by fear -- justified, of course -- that the conditions which it exposes will arouse the resentment of the American people. (Samuel Sillen 5)

28) [Proletarian writers] were also writing about universal class oppressions, and it was clear that the nation itself was not so much the focus in this writing as the people who made up that nation. What proletarian writers seemed to resist the most was the sense that there was one American experience. (Lisa Kirby 246)

29) Steinbeck clearly wanted to access the ideological power of a collective perspective, but he seems to have done so in a way that permitted individual character to win out. (Janet Galligari Casey 269)

30) There are, I should say, two main bodies of opinion, one that this is an honest, sympathetic, and artistically powerful presentation of economic, social, and human problems; the other, the great majority, that this is a vile, filthy book, an outsider's malicious attempt to smear the state of Oklahoma with outrageous lies. The latter opinion, I may add, is frequently accompanied by the remark, “I haven't read a word of it, but I know it's all a dirty lie.” (Martin Shockley)

31) It is my opinion that he can make anything. I believe John Ford can take as his story material the back end of the telephone book, some directions off a medicine bottle, a couple of old steamer-trunk labels, the opening gibberish from a James Joyce book and the rate card out of a San Luis Obispo hotel and immediately fashion and produce a motion picture of distinction, charm, drama and romance. (Frank Condon)

32) Steinbeck, in fact, creates a history of the California migrant workers and thereby rewrites American history as such. (Florian Schweiger)

33) By mixing expressionist narrative techniques with documentary cues and content, Ford keeps fiction and reality in constructive connection. The dark, expressionist sequences assert the inner life of the characters, balancing the distancing effect inherent in the external, opaque views of documentary style. (Leslie Gossage 115)

34) Although both Steinbeck and Ford do share a common bond in their focus on American institutions and ideology, in their dramatic humanization of those institutions and ideas through the medium of proletariat protagonists, and in their use of humor and folklore, their sympathies and interests are dramatically divergent. Steinbeck's novels emphasize the importance of the present, the harshness of reality, the potential of radical politics, and the need for social and political change. Conversely, Ford's films emphasize the values of the past and soften the harsher aspects of historical reality with nostalgia; his film worlds are apolitical and atemporal and his aesthetic evocation of America revolves around the harmony and established traditions of community. (Vivien Sobchack 72-73)

35) While Steinbeck may have presented migrant workers in a somewhat idealized way, his doing so forced Americans to rethink their perceptions of these workers and whether society had a responsibility toward them. (Lisa Kirby 249)

36) We just make enough for beans, and when we have to buy gas it comes out of beans. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

37) Ma's speech can be read as continuous with her earlier asserting of necessary fictions to bolster the morale of the family. She is the uncomplaining maintainer of status quo in the home -- in other words, the ultimate mother figure who not only attends to physical needs, but also works overtime to prevent the shattering of fragile psyches around her. (Leslie Gossage 123)

38) At its release, the fact that the film dealt with relatively contemporaneous subject matter, that it cinematically seemed to articulate the world and the plight of Dust Bowl migrants, and that the material content of its images bore a superficially strong resemblance to the physical world outside the theatre attracted far greater critical attention than did the film's stylized and abstracting treatment of its subject matter and physical content. Indeed, the film was initially reviewed and apotheosized more in terms of its relationship to actuality, to documentary realism, than treated as a successful adaptation of a novel or a work of cinematic fiction and art. (Vivien Sobchack 69-70)

39) Poverty has always been a hardship. The degree to which people have been able to escape poverty, to overcome the hardships, has also varied over time, often in rhythm with economic expansions and contractions. The fictional Joads represented a group of people -- poor tenant farmers -- whose chances of escaping poverty were slim even in the best of times. (Janet Bednarek 87)

40) It is not so much that The Grapes of Wrath as literary propaganda was meant to unhinge an entire American economic system; instead, it was intent on drawing attention to a cultural and economic crisis in Depression-era America and a structure that could no longer function in that time period. As such, a more accurate label for the novel might be "proletarian." (Lisa Kirby 245)

41) While it is clearly documented that Steinbeck wrote purposefully to get governmental help for the migrants, to reveal and thereby to end the clandestine abuse of them by the Associated Farmers and vigilantes, and to clear away dehumanizing impressions of the migrants' characters, it is not clear that anyone among the filmmakers, except perhaps Johnson . . . was deeply committed to improving the migrants' conditions. What solutions did they propose in their version of The Grapes of Wrath? (Leslie Gossage 119-20)

42) Because of his concern with the "common man," it is obvious that Steinbeck realized that no matter how hard people who belong to the same class strived, due to their social and economic circumstances and limitations of the American system, they would not necessarily achieve American greatness or individual success. (Lisa Kirby 247)

43) An especially effective way to generate enthusiasm for broad-based insurrectionary sentiment without becoming bogged down in political details and slogans is to evoke in a collective manner narratives of legendary radical movements. This positions the events of the novel within an emotional framework whereby the dis-empowered may be expected to triumph, a perennially appealing theme. (Janet Galligari Casey 263)

44) I never read the book. (John Ford, qtd. in Bluestone)

45) The book is coarse in spots, but life is coarse in spots, and the story is very beautiful in spots, just as life is. (Eleanor Roosevelt, qtd. in "Red Meat")

46) The Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries, Unite! (Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, chap 4)

47) And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." (Revelations 14: 9-11)

48) Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat upon the cloud, "Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe." So he who sat upon the cloud swung his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has power over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle on the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God; and the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse's bridle, for one thousand six hundred stadia. (Revelations 14: 14-20)

49) A piece of meat in the house would like to scare these children of mine to death. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

50) You never been called "Okie" yet? "Okie" use 'ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you're scum. Don't mean nothin' itself; it's the way they say it. But I can't tell you nothin'. You got to go there. I hear there's three hundred thousan' of our people there -- an' livin' like hogs, 'cause ever'thing in California is owned. (qtd. in J. H. Jackson)

51) One result of seeing The Grapes of Wrath, I hope, will be that we, too, will show ourselves a little less ready to bury our heads. (William Whitebait)

52) No reviewer has, I think, sufficiently emphasized Steinbeck's knowledge of the forces which hold a family together and the forces which cause it to disintegrate. (J. Homer Caskey)

53) The Grapes of Wrath will take a place beside [The Jungle] in the social history of the United States, but it is its literary fate to lie in the honourable vault which houses the books that have died when their purpose as propaganda has been served. (Anthony West)

54) Grapes of Wrath [the novel] has, overwhelmingly, those two qualities most vital to a work of social protest: great indignation and great compassion. (Louis Kronenberger)

55) The struggles of the Dust Bowl migrants seemed to suggest a pathetic failure of the American dream, a failure of all the promises of opportunity that formed its vital core, a failure which if true confirmed Americans' worst fears about their Depression-era experience. That is why the Dust Bowl migration became such an important focus of public concern during the last years of the 1930s. Even before John Steinbeck translated the experience into one of the classic American novels of the twentieth century, the migration had become a media event. (James Gregory xiv)

56) This is a terrible and indignant book; yet it is not without passages of lyrical beauty, and the ultimate impression conveyed is that of the dignity of the human spirit under the stress of the most desperate conditions. (Wilfred Gibson)

57) Once the Joad family starts for California, you will see a tough, brutal, uncompromising motion picture; you will gradually begin to feel the hackles rise on the back of your neck, and finally, when you ride into the Keene ranch and see the Joad family herded into dog kennels and treated worse than dogs, you will start tearing the legs of your chair. (Pare Lorentz)

58) But it [the novel] belongs very high in the category of great angry books . . . that have roused a people to fight against intolerable wrongs. (Malcolm Cowley)

59) The film, by its failure to grasp the principles which govern great artistic composition, fails to meet the need of the time and the challenge of great writing. (M. St. Clare Byrne 416)

60) Producer Zanuck is sitting in his office in Westwood, surrounded by piles of mail calling him bitter names for making the picture, for not making the picture, for buying Steinbeck’s book, for putting Steinbeck’s book on the shelf, for taking the grim tale and covering it with a film of sugar and sweetness and light, for proving the migrant workers should stay at home and are a lot of bums, for proving landholders of California are a lot of swollen buzzard who should be deprived of their good earnings, for holding the state up to scorn and for several other things. (Frank Condon)

61) The Grapes of Wrath [novel] is prophecy in the sense that Steinbeck foresees revolt unless society is moved to do something about the sufferings of plain humans, outcast by a changing rural economy, and being prepared to trample out the red vintage of despair. (Leon Whipple)

62) The Grapes of Wrath is the kind of art that's poured out of a crucible in which are mingled pity and indignation. (Clifton Fadiman)

63) This film, based though it is on USA conditions, plunges a stiletto of social guilt into our own breasts. (qtd. by Jack Giampolo, Lehigh University)

64) We didn’t ask these Okies and Arkies to come out here. They were failures where they lived, and they came because our relief payments are about the biggest in the country. Most of them aren’t the kind of people who make good citizens. They’re naturally dirty, ignorant, immoral, and superstitious. If you do anything for them they don’t appreciate it, and if you let them on your ground, they dirty it up and destroy property -- they’re used to living like trash. They’ve been inbreeding so long that they’re low-grade stock. After they’ve been here a year or two and learned how to handle our crops they make good workers, maybe the best we’ve ever had, but you can’t depend on them. They’re too damn independent; they won’t take orders like a Mexican or a Jap, and they’re not satisfied with the wages we can afford to pay. They’re easy bait for the Red organizers. (Californian)

65) Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; / He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. (The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

66) The Joad family is defeated by two forces larger than themselves: drought, which is a natural disaster, and corporate farming, which is an unnatural disaster. (Robert Miltner 279)

67) The story of the Joad family and their will to survive, essentially a story of hard work, values, and determination, is far from un-American. In fact, it is perhaps the most American story ever to be told. (Lisa Kirby 258)

68) [The film] is a stark and drab depiction of a group of incidents in human misery, told against a chaotic jumble of philosophic and sociological suggestion and argument. (Rachel Pulliam 4)

69) The question that is never raised in any of these films, however, is, did not the very dream of turning wilderness into a garden represent a vision of progress that would inevitably lead to the destruction of the garden? That is, since the simple plow is a machine, the machine entered the garden the moment it broke open the land. Therefore, the belief in progress led the agrarians into the hands of the mercantile capitalists. (Peter Stowell 58)

70) The film does not embody Steinbeck’s transcendental vision of all human beings as part of one oversoul, but rather the traditional Christian concept of earthly humility and divine justice. (Warren French 38)

71) The novel offers no substantive solution to the farmers' predicament; rather, it presents capitalism as an unleashed, rapacious demon that cannot be recontained and posits the resulting social chaos as inevitable and largely unredeemable. (Janet Galligani Casey)

72) [The movie is considered] "Hollywood's finest contribution to the cult of social consciousness." (Roffman and Purdy)

73) Steinbeck embraced, and John Ford faithfully recreated, a social vision no less deeply rooted in American culture than the individualistic ethos with which it competed. It rested on an almost romantic notion of the natural goodness of "the people." It imagined a culture in which a simple folkish patience and warmheartedness -- a spontaneous generosity -- would compensate for and eventually overcome the cruelty and oppressiveness of the economic system. (Alan Brinkley 227)

74) Bitter, authentic, honest, it marches straight to its tragic end with a reality that suggests a superb newsreel, with a courage that merits a badge of honor for the U.S. movie industry. (Life)

75) We ain’t no paupers. We hold ourselves to be decent folks. We don’t want no relief. But what we do want is a chanst to make an honest living like what we was raised. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

76) America as well as Europe has its roads lined with refugees. (William Whitebait)

77) Mr. Steinbeck makes his points with the delicacy of a trip hammer, the book lacks form and ends simply because the characters have reached the ultimate believable degradation and the length has reached the limit which publishers and public can stand. (Anthony West)

78) Unlike most westward movements of earlier eras, this one seemed to be comprised mostly of poor people and dominated not by the pull of California attractions but by the push of desperate conditions back home. Contemporaries decided that they were witnessing something unprecedented in the history of white Americans: a large-scale refugee migration, a flight from privation of the sort Americans read about elsewhere but hoped never to see in their own land. (James Gregory 10)

79) If I could get me a piece of land I’d go to diggin’ it with my hands. (Okie, qtd. in Steichen)

80) It is this large interest in the whole lives of his Oklahoma farmers that makes The Grapes of Wrath more than a novel of propaganda, even though its social message is what will stick with any sensitive reader. (Clifton Fadiman)

81) It is characteristic of all moral guardians that they confuse their own corruptibility with the sound and healthy minds of those they pretend to protect. (Samuel Sillen 4)

82) In the process of fleeing, migrant workers not only assume a position of permanent homelessness, they become an alternate race of people who operate under an entirely separate set of cultural codes but who look, to racist eyes, like any other minority. (Jason Arthur 173)

83) The central thrust was not to ban Steinbeck's text statewide, although some in Kern Country attempted to do so, or to discredit the man, although many tried. Rather, it was to replace one picture of California farm and migrant life with another. (Susan Shillinglaw 196)

84) Its power and importance do not lie in its political insight but in its intense humanity, its grasp of the spirit of an entire people traversing a wilderness, its kindliness, its humor, and its bitter indignation. (Clifton Fadiman)

85) The Hearst Press denounced it [the novel] as Communist propaganda. (Terry Christensen)

86) To some it is the Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Les Miserables of the century, even “the greatest novel written by an American.” To others it is so “vile,” “obscene” and “exaggerated” that it has been reviled by clubwomen, condemned by businessmen and banned by libraries. (Life)

87) In a word, [in the novel] the Joads dominate. They are larger-than-life figures, attaining a centrality and a "real-ness" that overwhelms and arguably distorts the sociopolitical messages of the interchapters. (Janet Galligari Casey 269)

88) No reader can fail to agree that it is a magnificent story of our time . . . a beautiful and authentic account. . . . It is hard to think of a more thoroughly satisfying proletarian novel in America. (Joseph Davis in the Communist Daily Worker, qtd. in "Red Meat")

89) I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address)

90) On the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas, townspeople discovered a crow’s nest made entirely of barbed wire. The only material the birds could scavenge from the lifeless terrain. Anything that could was stubbornly holding on. (qtd. in Surviving the Dust Bowl)

91) Whatever the reason, Ford reduced and softened the character of Ma Joad, and thereby diluted Steinbeck’s depiction of woman’s strength, durability, and significance in the human struggle for survival, a depiction that is distinctly embedded in the many layers, both realistic and mythic, of the book. (Mimi Gladstein 125)

92) Ideas don’t die because a book is forbidden reading. If Steinbeck has written truth, that truth will survive. (Marci Lingo)

93) The tragedy of the Joads is, most emphatically, not a natural disaster. The Joads are the victims of grab and greed as much as dust and tractors. Their distress is the end product of a process of social disintegration set in motion as early as 1900. Their problem is distinctly a man-made problem. Their tragedy is part of a greater tragedy , -- the wasteful and senseless exploitation of a rich domain, -- the insane scramble of conflicting group interests which frustrated the promise of the frontier and (within a decade) converted a pioneer territory into a sink of poverty. (Carey McWilliams 187)