After they reach California, the Joads become convinced that there is no hope for a better life as the state is full of hungry and bitter workers from other states of the Dust Bowl. What I like most about this book is the strong plot. It is astonishing how Steinbeck manages to tell the story of a single family against the background of the national catastrophe. The Joads are the composite character of millions of people who abandoned their native land in order to find work and food at the far end of the country. This family personifies the problem of the Okies who flooded into California but did not find the Promised Land (McCrum par. 2). The characters created by Steinbeck are vivid and easy to remember. The author managed to depict the fates of millions of people by the example of one family and the people around them. In my opinion, the story has too many digressions from the Joads family so it sometimes becomes difficult to follow their story.
Besides, there are sometimes too vivid descriptions of sexual and violent scenes that can cause the feeling of disgust in certain readers. To summarize, Steinbeck’s novel is one of the greatest books in both American and world literature. The author depicts the tragedy of the whole nation on the example of one family and shows all hardships of the Great Depression.
The plot of the book is directly connected with the Great Depression that began in the USA at the end of the 1920s. In fact, the Great Depression is that driver that pushes the Okie away from their native land and makes them seek for a better life in other states. The bank system that suffered a great fall at the beginning of the economic crisis addressed poor landowners and asked them to pay their debts (Yuhas par. 2). Having no spare money, the landowners had to abandon their native territories as the lands were confiscated by the banks. Moreover, the devastating crisis of the national economy was accompanied by terrible weather conditions that shattered the life of several states known as the Dust Bowl. The agricultural sector that was the main source of income in such states as Oklahoma (the native state of the Joads) was destroyed by severe dust storms.
The farmers lost their self-confidence once they realized that they were not able to grow anything on their native land or keep their kettle (Smith par. 8). Such great shocks completely changed the habitual life pattern of millions of people. Many of them did not manage to find any job and did not survive the crisis without the ability to cultivate the land. The others moved to cities or other states hoping to find a better place. But the crisis affected all the spheres of the national economy and the country could not employ millions of starving workers. In other words, the emerging labor force had nothing to do and thus, could not provide for their families. The Great Depression is the most severe economic crisis in the history of the USA and Steinbeck in his novel shows the scale of the disaster that affected millions of people all over the country.