The Grapes of Wrath | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Frederic I. Carpenter

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of The Grapes of Wrath.
This section contains 3,854 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Frederic I. Carpenter

Critical Essay by Frederic I. Carpenter

SOURCE: Carpenter, Frederic I. “John Steinbeck: The Philosophical Joads.” In American Literature and the Dream, pp. 167-75. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1955.

In the following essay, originally published in 1941, Carpenter argues that the philosophical center of The Grapes of Wrath lies not in its documentary-style interchapters but in the character of Jim Casy, who, Carpenter notes, embodies and transforms both American transcendentalism and pragmatism.

A popular heresy has it that a novelist should not discuss ideas—especially not abstract ideas. Even the best contemporary reviewers concern themselves with the entertainment value of a book (will it please their readers?), and with the impression of immediate reality which it creates. The Grapes of Wrath, for instance, was praised for its swift action and for the moving sincerity of its characters. But its mystical ideas...

(read more)

This section contains 3,854 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Frederic I. Carpenter