The Grapes of Wrath...redux  

Fallic40 54M
3214 posts
9/16/2005 4:44 pm
The Grapes of Wrath...redux

I have picked up this most fantastic book to read (again) this weekend. It has long been my favourite novel by one of my favourite authors. The reason that I am reading it is it's pertinence to the recent events in the South.

I can see the people who are currently evacuees becoming the new "okies" and a whole new way of life being developed as these unfortunate individuals work their way west and north.

The dust bowl of the '20 and '30s was also a human created, natural disaster that ended an entire way of life and started another. My ex-wife's family was part of that great migration and worked their way west: dam by dam.

But what I do not see in the future for the people out of Louisiana and Mississippi are the jobs programmes that fueled the westward migration.

At what point will push come to shove once again. What ocurred in New Orleans, in terms of human reactions, might only be the tip of the iceberg.

KhaosKitty 43F
123 posts
9/16/2005 6:08 pm

Being an Okie, that book and stories of the Dustbowl were large parts of my growing up. It gave me a somewhat odd perspective on natural and man-made disasters. Yes, they are terrible. Yes, they are devestating. But somehow in all of that despair, the human spirit shines through and we are reminded that our race really does have it's upside.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
9/16/2005 6:56 pm

KhaosKitty, I agree wholeheartedly on the human spirit shining through. My real concern is that there really in not going to be an infrastructure put in place to support that spirit.

For all of it's socialist implications, the WPA was an amazing piece of government work and set the future and present of the west into place. I do not see anything like that pending this time round.

What I see is a few people (at Halliburton, perhaps?) getting inordinately wealthy off of the misery of many.

And as for the "okies" that came west, they have the most amazing stories of the depression. People who visit Hoover Dam need to have one of the surviving builders with them to hear the tales. Grandma Betty (a good midwest name, if ever there was one) worked on the Hoover Dam, the John Day Dam and the Dalles Dam with her husband and children in the workcamps with her.

rm_Network_Minx 48F
542 posts
9/16/2005 9:40 pm

My mother's family were farmers in Kansas during the depression. They were some of the lucky ones, they held on to their farm until Roosevelt took office and passed the Farm Act.

The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are my favourite novels by Steinbeck.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
9/17/2005 7:09 pm

Minx, have you read Travels with Charley? It's one of Steinbeck's non fiction books.

your_gypsy 52F

9/19/2005 8:56 pm

my son (age 12) is just starting to read this. i never read it myself. i missed a lot of the classics, though i wrote a lot in school. him reading it right now and when i join him is giving me a second chance at this aspect of art and history.

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