The first is 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, first published in 1939. This is a story that has as its theme the proletarianising of the small farmers of Oklahoma and other central states of the U.S.A., and their early experiences as wage workers. Turned off their small holdings by the finance and large farming corporations who intended to introduce the more profitable mechanical farming methods, these poverty stricken families trek all the way to California where they are led to believe there is a fertile land and comfortable living. There is fertile land alright, but not for them. The ingenuity of man has devised fertilisers, pest destroyers, grafting and selective breeding of the many varieties of fruit grown in California. The crops are so bountiful that the market price is lower than the cost of picking and the fruit is allowed to rot. Into this state comes the army of newly created wage workers bewildered by the land of plenty in which they watch their children starve. Capital has them in its clutches. It breaks up the families, it makes men unscrupulous and unsociable, it drives them all into a cut-throat low wage competition. The poverty is extreme; and the period is the 1930's.
by Jenny Sawyer
"We are family!" It's not just a 1970's hit song. It's not just 60sR's cry of appreciation for our loyal subscribers! It's also a good synopsis of Steinbeck's main theme in "The Grapes of Wrath." Here's the 60second Recap® on the power of family in John Steinbeck's masterpiece.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) by John Ford.
There are several different themes in The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. Here I will go into depth on those. The three main themes in the story are free will versus necessity, the holiness of every man, and the kinship of all man.