John Steinbeck Writing Styles in The Grapes of Wrath

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The novel is narrated in the third-person voice ("he"/"she"/"it"). What is particularly significant about this technique is that the point of view varies in tone and method, depending on the author's purpose. The novel's distinctive feature is its sixteen inserted, or intercalary, chapters (usually the oddnumbered chapters) that provide documentary information for the reader. These chapters give social and historical background of the mid-1930s Depression era, especially as it affects migrants like the Joads.

These inserted chapters range from descriptions of the Dust Bowl and agricultural conditions in Oklahoma, to California's history, to descriptions of roads leading west from Oklahoma. In the more restricted chapters that focus on the Joads, the point of view shifts to become close and dramatic. In addition, many of the inserted chapters contain basic symbols of the novel: land, family, and the conflict between the migrants and the...

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This section contains 902 words
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Buy The Grapes of Wrath Study Guide
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