In a Steinbeck world it is almost a crime, a sign of weakness to show any sentimentality. Real men just get on with the daily drudgery and focus on the misery of living and dying. But there are real emotions out there and when Jody’s grandfather comes to stay and talk about the good old days of fighting the Indians it shows the lack of respect, failure to appreciate the lack of interest and the love that the young have as the generations fail to see eye to eye.
Throughout this book Jody’s father Carl has been painted as an overbearing, petty destroyer of dreams and he comes out of it badly. The mother seems scared to stand up to him nut will do it occasionally and Billy Buck the farmhand just tries to keep himself on the right side of whomever he is dealing with.
Syeinbeck describes a time and a land where speaking your mind could isolate you from the community forever but biting your lip could eat at your heart until you die.
A great little book and one that could almost be consumed as four distinct short stories.
A review will follow soon…