Monday, July 24, 2006

Grapes of wrath post I

Most great works of literature start with an introduction that puts the work in context and provides some information about the author. These are always worth reading because, although they usually do contain spoilers that will take away the impact of some of the twists in the book, they do provide a lot of background that can help understand the book and the author's motivation. Have to say in passing that the intro by Michael Millgate is one of the strangest I have read because it concludes by going through the book chapter by chapter. I skipped that bit because it really would have spoilt reading the rest of the story.

Bullet points between pages 1 - 76

* The scene is set with the tough depression era farming world of the Great Plains being destroyed by dust.

* Tenant farmers are being driven off their land by the banks and heading for the promised land of California where the living is meanrt to be easy

* Tom Joad is introduced as a character who has just been released from prison three years early for good behaviour after a homicide and is heading home

* He discovers his family have moved and meets the preacher from his youth -Casy - who as almost a metaphor for the community has lost his faith

* Tom meets up with his family as they prepare to depart for California

Like a great symphony, where the main theme echoes through the movements, already you are starting to get the idea for the themes of struggle – dust and the endless journey of the land turtle being two of them.

I wanted to read more but fell asleep on the train in the heat and as a result of a 4am start after taking my brother to the airport hope to crack on a bit more tomorrow...


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