The Grapes of Wrath is a novel written by Nobel Prize-winning John Steinbeck, published in 1939. The narrative follows the Joad family, tenant farmers from Oklahoma who are displaced during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. The Joads embark on a journey to California in search of a better life, facing hardship and exploitation along the way. The economic struggles of the 1930s, marked by the Great Depression and the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl, provides the setting of the novel. The Joads’ saga captures the social and political dynamics of the time, exploring issues of poverty, migrant labor, and the exploitation of workers.
The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940 and played a significant role in shaping public opinion about the plight of migrant workers during the Great Depression. Steinbeck’s work remains a classic of American literature, valued for its social consciousness and literary impact. John Ford’s 1940 classic film adaptation starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad is recognized for its authenticity and its fidelity to Steinbeck’s novel.