the heroes of The Grapes of Wrath are on the bottom of the social ladder; their language is often vile, their behavior is sometimes as coarse as their language, and they freely discuss bodily functions which in the 1930s seldom mentioned in literature. what was Steinbeck's purpose for portraying such unrefined and coarse people? what would be the effect on the readers if the Joads spoke "proper" english and did not curse?
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Although The Grapes is a highly complex and interesting novel, there is little disagreement about one thing: namely, the idea that the story represents a great turning point or "change" in the American attitude from the rugged, indifferent individualism of the 19th century to a serious attitude of preference for the poor. This is the profound influence of the Great Depression--and, by extension, The Grapes of Wrath.