Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Grapes of Wrath
- When Written: 1939
- Where Written: Pacific Grove, California
- When Published: 1939
- Literary Period: American Realist
- Genre: Novel
- Setting: Oklahoma, California, the American Southwest
- Climax: Rose of Sharon’s breastfeeding of a starving man
- Antagonist: Industrial farms, banks
- Point of View: Third person omniscient narrator
A Blockbuster Success: In 1940, The Grapes of Wrath was adapted into a movie, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, and won two.
Steinbeck’s Politics: Although Steinbeck’s politics certainly leaned left, and he sympathized intensely with the working man, he never aligned with the Communist Party. Three trips to Soviet Russia only affirmed his distaste for Communism. Later on, Steinbeck developed more conservative views; he was at first supportive of Lyndon Johnson’s stance on the war in Vietnam, and he held the 1960’s counterculture in little esteem.