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John Steinbeck's Classic: The Grapes of Wrath

Updated on February 9, 2013

High School Literature Ideas for The Grapes of Wrath

This is the novel to read by John Steinbeck if you are interested at all in American History. The Grapes of Wrath gives you an up close and personal view of a period of time that we all should know about. We are including this as part of our high school literature reading plans using SparkNotes as a jumping off spot for discussion.

This is an important book for all of us to read. As an adult I gained such a deep sense of humanity from reading this book...much more than I did reading it in high school. The book captured my emotions and heart right from the first chapter and didn't let go until I finished the last page.

Feeling a sense of connectedness to Mrs. Joad, I could feel the knot in my stomach at each of her decisions, desperately trying to keep her family together. Watching the men in her life slowly change as they try to provide for the family, as seen through her eyes, is a difficult thing to read about but very satisfying in the end.

Adult themes that may dissuade you at first but stick with the book and you will not be disappointed.

Grapes of Wrath - DVD and Kindle Version

We always like to watch a video version of the books we read to follow-up our study. Having the book on your Kindle would be a great one to have on hand!

The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath

Have a Kindle? Here is the version for you.

 
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath

Classic that will be a great follow-up to reading the book.

 
The Grapes of Wrath (SparkNotes Literature Guide) (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)
The Grapes of Wrath (SparkNotes Literature Guide) (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

Amazon.com has inexpensive copies of this book available in print form.

Or you can download this directly from CurrClick:

Spark Notes for you iPod.

 

1940 Grapes of Wrath Movie Trailer - With Henry Fonda

The Grapes of Wrath - Written in 1939

Pulitzer Prize winning novel chronicles the saga of the Joad family as they travel from the Depression hit Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California. Forced off their land, their survival depends on sticking together as a family. This novel should be read by every adult and discussed in every reading group.

This book will long be on your mind after you finish. Food for thought and relevant for today.

The best line ever:

"After a while the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant. Then the women knew that they were safe and that there was no break....The women knew is was all right, and the watching children knew it was all right." Chapter One

John Steinbeck and the Grapes of Wrath

"...and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." Chapter 25

The Grapes of Wrath - Links to help you get the most out of your reading

We enjoyed reading the notes and summaries as we went along.

More books by John Steinbeck - Vote for your favorites, or add any I missed.

Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)

Adventures of cannery workers living in the run-down waterfront section of Monterey, California.

 
Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition)
Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition)

With his dog Charley, John Steinbeck set out in his truck to explore and experience America in the 1960s. As he talked with all kinds of people, he sadly noted the passing of region speech, fell in love with Montana, and was appalled by racism in New Orleans.

 
The Pearl (Centennial Edition)
The Pearl (Centennial Edition)

A fisherman finds the great pearl, only to lose it again. Re-issue of Steinbeck's classic.

 
Tortilla Flat (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Tortilla Flat (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of Americaâs greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery Row, In Dubious Battle, The Long Valley, The Moon Is Down, The Pastures of Heaven, and Tortilla Flat. Penguin Classics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readersâand to the many who revisit them again and again.

 

I love to hear your thoughts!

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      Andycakes 5 years ago

      I love this novel, as I do anything by Steinbeck, especially Cannery Row and The Winter of Our Discontent. John Ford's film of the Grapes of Wrath is beautiful, one of the greatest American films ever made and one of my favourites. Thankyou for the lens. I'm off to the library now!

    • GirlLovesNature1 profile image

      GirlLovesNature1 5 years ago

      This book made me cry. It's still one of my favorites. I learned a lot, not just about history, but lessons that are still relevant today, about the importance of a minimum wage and about the humanity of people in the face of hardship. thank you for your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      "It's my sister's turn to eat" are the saddest words I've ever read on a Squidoo lens. Thanks for sharing this lens with us.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done. I'm not sure if I've read the book OR seen the movie.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 6 years ago from Canada

      This book is a great piece of classic literature. I'm one of those rare birds who does not read fiction, only non-fiction, or books that reflect true circumstances.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      This is just the lens I needed to add to my What Was Life Like in the 1930s. Thanks for creating it.