The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath Revisiting The Grapes of Wrath

In 2013, the National Steinbeck Center commissioned three artists and researchers to retrace the route of the characters in The Grapes of Wrath. The researchers reported back that they had experienced many of the same weather conditions that Steinbeck wrote about in his novel, and that they also had witnessed many people suffering through the kind of rural poverty that afflicted Steinbeck's characters. When The Grapes of Wrath was first published, critics believed that it would be limited by its distinctive 1930s setting. However, the reports of these researchers have shown that Steinbeck's work is timeless and not bound by the narrative of the Dust Bowl: the landscapes and the hardships it depicts have not disappeared from 20th-century America.