John Steinbeck Writing Styles in The Grapes of Wrath

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Name

Style 1

Point of View

The Grapes of Wrath alternates between a limited third person narrator that follows the Joad family, and an omniscient, impersonal third person narrator. The odd chapters are usually historical narrative, and the style is consistently impersonal and removed. The even chapters follow the Joads, and the narrator is subsequently more personal and limited.

The more removed narration allows for an epic, sweeping narration of hundreds of thousands of migrants. It also has room for more authorial intrusion, and Steinbeck uses these chapters to provide historical analysis in connection to the migrants’ plight and the industrialized West. The narrator is obviously sympathetic to the plight of the workers and repeats the idea they must stand united to survive.

Though it is still omniscient, the more personal narration of the even chapters that follow the Joads avoids such authorial intrusion, and instead allows the story and...

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This section contains 689 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Grapes of Wrath Study Guide
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