John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is a supremely human novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Steinbeck’s experimental style sees him alternate between longer narrative chapters and shorter, more lyrical and atmospheric chapters. I found this style of writing to be particularly effective as it appeared to reflect and emphasise the day by day, step by step approach to a life that characters in the novel are forced to adopt.
Steinbeck places human relationships at the very heart of the narrative and instills the novel with a type of collective spirituality that serves as an alternative to religion as the only potential vessel of hope and redemption.
The warped ‘Madonna and child’ style image that the reader is left with at the end of the novel leaves one in awe of man’s ability to connect with one another and build relationships in even the most dire of situations.
If you haven’t already read this American classic, I would definitely recommend it! Although the language used is not overly dense, it deals with some profoundly human issues and reasserts the value of everyday relationships and everyday language.