I recently finished reading John Steinbeck’s book The Grapes of Wrath. It is definately worth reading. Honestly, I did’t know much about the struggles people endured during The Great Depression until reading this book. The only first hand story I remember is my grandmother telling me that they didn’t have lunch at school. Occassionally they might have an orange because the school would provide one. They didn’t really know any different because no one else had anything either. This book really opened my eyes to the struggles some people had during this time period. It was an example of the haves and have nots. Those that had jobs and those that had to fight for every penny they earned.
Steinbeck’s book covered a lot of different topics as it followed the Joads west from Oklahoma to California. It talked about family, religion, economics, greed, politics, culture, and survival. It really made me think, could I have survived during this time period? While this book was tough to get through, it provided insight into a time period that many of us have never experienced (and I hope we never experience). Most of the knowledge I have on The Great Depression is from economics classes, but this book brought the event to the struggles of the individuals who had to live through it. It was gut wrenching to see what individuals had to deal with, but it showed the beauty of the human spirit in helping their fellow man and surviving.