Grapes Of Wrath Essay Conclusion

Le roman tout comme le film de John Ford (1940) furent compris par le grand public de l’époque, et bien des années plus tard, comme une protestation clairement gauchiste, voire radicale, contre une telle injustice.Mais cet essai montre combien les idées politiques de ces œuvres jumelées sont en réalité difficiles à saisir et combien il est hasardeux de définir, quel que soit l’effort rétrospectif, la critique que Steinbeck et Ford ont proposée dans leur version des Adolf Hitler knew almost nothing of the United States, a country he never visited.

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The combination of literary power and social concern aroused the suspicion that Steinbeck must somehow have hectored his readers, installing the Okies as historical actors on a political stage.

Philip Rahv objected to “the outright political preaching from the standpoint of a kind of homespun revolutionary populism.” The co-editor of the every mistake that “proletarian” writers had already made, Rahv complained, such as the romanticization of ordinary folk and the psychologically unconvincing conversion to labor militancy. In his first book of literary history, Alfred Kazin claimed that Steinbeck “was aroused by the man-made evil the Okies had to suffer, and he knew it as something remediable by men.” But what exactly was that man-made evil, and what precisely was the remedy?

On that list was Steinbeck, whom Orwell also characterized as a “spurious writer, pseudo-naif.”6 The case for Steinbeck’s radicalism was thin, however, though he had been a member of the League of American Writers, founded in 1935 and sponsored by the Communists.

At its peak it had about eight hundred members, and was the subject of Tom Wolfe’s 1956 dissertation in the American Studies program at Yale, which he subtitled “Communist Organizational Activity Among American Writers, 1929-1942.” One measure of the elusiveness of Steinbeck’s politics may be that, though Wolfe himself has come across as a conservative, he has retaineda sweet tooth for the sort of realism that Steinbeck—more than any other major writer of the 1930’s—exemplified.7 His novel did seem to adopt a political stance that troubled leading critics, even those on the left.

Economic backwardness was apparent in the Soviet response to The totalitarian reactions to this movie are only the most striking instances of the political polysemousness that is the subject of this essay.

Coming across as vaguely radical, Ford’s film—perhaps even more than the book that inspired it—nevertheless achieved an ambiguity that is more the signature of art than of politics, but effected a wide range of responses to the representation of the Okies’ plight.To be sure, nothing could match what was written by the little lady who started the great war of the mid-nineteenth century.But in the twentieth century, perhaps only one work of fiction can be compared to (1976) is classified as fiction, as it was when ABC announced that its television adaptation the following year was "based on the novel by Alex Haley." So searing and successful was Steinbeck’s book that the privileged could be put a little on the defensive.Efforts at censorship were ineffective, however; and even the allegation that the novel was an affront to regional pride did not stop the public library of Tulsa from acquiring twenty-eight copies to satisfy the demand.4 A U. Congressman from Oklahoma, Lyle Boren, was apoplectic: “I cannot find it possible to let this dirty, lying, filthy manuscript go heralded before thepublic without a word of challenge or protest.” He “resent[ed], for the great state of Oklahoma, the implications in that book.” Exulting in his own “tenant-farmer heritage,” Boren contributed to the nation’s rich legacy of yahooism—preserved for posterity in the — by calling this novel “a lie, a black, infernal creation of a twisted, distorted mind.”5 This critic’s son, David Lyle Boren, born two years later, would become a U. Senator and the president of the University of Oklahoma. It was especially alert to potential disruptions to social order that might come up from below, though such a threat was hardly original to the 1930’s or indigenous to Depression-era America.After all, the first person to discern the socio-economic divide between “the haves and the have-nots” was Sancho Panza’s grandmother (chapter XX of showed up at a table at the May Day rally of the Communists’ Los Angeles chapter?The second-hand opinion of the American Legion Radical Research Bureau in San Francisco was that the novel had been called—by whom?—“Red propaganda.” Army G-2 was therefore bound to harbor “substantial doubt as to Subject’s loyalty and discretion.” Such was his reputation for radicalism that, as late as 1949, with the Cold War in full swing, the social democrat George Orwell secretly submitted a list of thirty-five “FT’s” (fellow travellers) to the Information Research Department of His Majesty’s government, drawn from his own notebook that contained 125 names.Efforts at censorship in the public schools persisted, in one instance because the father of a tenth-grader noticed how often the novel “takes the Lord’s name in vain.” But blasphemy did not exhaust the list of objections.was banned “for its sexual frankness as well as for its political views,” Worster noted.Louis, Illinois, as well as in Kern County in California—at the heart of the region that Steinbeck described, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was vilified and suppressed.Its ceremonial burning in Kern County was photographed by magazine.


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