The Worst Hard Time

The Struggles of Life Described In the Dust Bowl: Comparing “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Worst Hard Time” 11th Grade

Depicting a world where the struggle to survive is elemental, two incisive narratives emerged to describe what life was like during the Dust Bowl. Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time comprises a non-fiction description of life following actual figures and stories of people who had to live through one of the toughest times in history. John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath offers a fictional depiction of what people would have experienced, created a story of a family that had to transform their lives to adapt to what the Dust Bowl did to their lives in their struggle to find jobs and money. Both of these works paint a realistic picture of what life was like in the Dust Bowl, in that they both comparatively included a unique plot which followed multiple families in The Worst Hard Time and one family in The Grapes of Wrath, used figurative language to emphasize certain points that were consistent in life during the Dust Bowl, and created a clear tone that connected with the reader on a personal and emotional level.

These texts both employ a unique structure within each of their stories that provided multiple perspectives on life during the Dust Bowl. In The Worst Hard Time, there were multiple instances when the story would...

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