Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Literature: The Grapes Of Wrath

"Of all the novels of that decade, The Grapes Of Wrath, etched most sharply the remembered contours of the depression, re-created most vividly the atmosphere of the days of crisis, of unemployment and starvation, of the dust bowl and the triple-A program, of relief and reform, and spoke most authentically the voice of the New Deal. "Burn the coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm. Dump potatoes in the river and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drop down into the earth. ... The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in the ditch and covered with quick-lime, ... and in the eyes of the people there is a failure and in the eyes of the hungry there is growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." (Grapes Of Wrath)

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