L’Heureux, Conrad E.  “Life’s Journey and The Grapes of Wrath.”  University of Dayton
23.3 (1996): 89-97.
          Contends that it is helpful to think of
The Grapes of Wrath in terms of Joseph Campbell’s
           “monomyth” pattern, which L’Heureux defines and diagrams.  Demonstrates that the Joads
           receive a call, in the form of handbills, to leave their home, they face many trials in their
           journey to California and meet helpers along the way, and they finally attain their journey’s
           goal by realizing their place in a larger community

Rucklin, Christine.  “Steinbeck’s ‘Odyssey’: A Reconsideration of Homer’s Epic.”
Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 17.2 (1997): 171-177.
          Explains that critics have long noted similarities between
The Grapes of Wrath and the
     Odyssey, but there has been no in-depth study comparing the two works before this article. 
          Shows that Steinbeck was well acquainted with the works of Homer by citing Robert
Steinbeck’s Readings.  Asserts that Steinbeck used the myth of Tantalus to
          frame the novel and that he used inversion and parody of passages from the Odyssey to
          further his plot.

- - -.  “Steinbeck and the Philosophical Joad.”  Steinbeck Newsletter 10.1 (1997): 11-13.
          Suggests a link between Steinbeck’s use of the name Joad and the British philosopher
          Cyril Joad.  Proves that Ed Ricketts owned Joad’s Guide to Philosophy, and Steinbeck
           may have borrowed the book from him or may have been influenced by Ricketts’ discussion
           of the book.  Shows similarities between
The Grapes of Wrath and Joad’s philosophy,
           including the concept of history in both.

- - -.  “Steinbeck and Harold Bell Wright: A Few Parallel Occurrences.”  Steinbeck
11 (1998): 1-3.
          Notes that Steinbeck makes reference to Wright’s
The Winning of Barbara Worth in East
          of Eden
and The Grapes of Wrath.  States that Wright’s novel and Grapes have a similar
           structure, are concerned with the masses, and use historical connections.

Shindo, Charles.  “The Perfectibility of Man: John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath.” 
Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination.  Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1997. 

          Examines the educative function of
The Grapes of Wrath.  Demonstrates that Steinbeck’s
          audience for the novel was the literate, middle class, and that he, even though he had some
          similarities to the migrant workers, was a member of the middle class.  By looking at
Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and “Harvest Gypsies,” shows how Steinbeck’s writing
          evolved into a conviction that “education and understanding might lead to human perfection.” 
          Asserts that the goal of
Grapes was to teach this middle class an understanding of the
          migrants’ situation, thereby providing an impetus for change. 

Steinbeck, John.  The Grapes of Wrath: Text and Criticism.  The Viking Critical Lib.
           Ed. Peter Lisca.  2nd ed.  New York: Penguin, 1997.

          Is divided into four sections: text, “The Social Context,” “The Creative Context,” and
          “Criticism.” “The Social Context” includes two essays that discuss the conditions depicted
           in the novel and reactions to the novel in Oklahoma.   “The Creative Context” consists of
           two essays that describe the conditions under which the novel was written and a letter
          from Steinbeck that expresses his intentions in writing the novel.  “Criticism” features ten
          previously published articles, presented in chronological order, and Lisca’s account of
          the pattern of criticism.  Also includes maps, a Steinbeck chronology, topics for discussion,
          and a selected bibliography.

Teisch, Jessica B.  “From the Dust Bowl to California: The Beautiful Fraud.”
Midwest Quarterly 39 (1998): 153-72.
The Grapes of Wrath and other novels (such as Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!
          and Douglas Unger’s
Leaving the Land) and short stories in the history of the agriculture
          of the Midwest and California from the early nineteenth century to the present.  Examines
          the settlement of the land, tenancy of farms, land consolidations of the 1930’s, New Deal
          farm programs, Dust Bowl migration to California, and corporate farming.  Explores the
          effects of large-scale irrigation and technology on the land and the people who worked
          the land.  Warns that another Dust Bowl could occur. 

Wiener, Gary, ed.  Readings on The Grapes of Wrath. Greenhaven Press Lit.
          Companion to Amer. Lit.  San Diego: Greenhaven, 1999.

          Designed for young adults to provide an introduction to literary analysis and criticism.
          Features nineteen previously published essays on the making of the novel, major themes,
          techniques, and the reception and continuing relevance of the novel. Each essay is chosen
          for easy accessibility and is edited for comprehension at a young adult level. Also includes
           a short biography, a chronology, a list of major works by Steinbeck, and suggestions for
           further reading.
Steinbeck Bibliography
Grapes of Wrath Criticism
Back to Table of Contents