The Grapes of Wrath (Essentials) - John Steinbeck Steinbeck succeeded wonderfully in bringing focus to the realities of life for one farm family in 1930s America during the Great Depression.

His vehicle was primarily the Joad family, and we're allowed to follow them as they face blow after blow, in an effort to stay together as a family and migrate with the hundreds of thousands of other newfound homeless to the perceived glories of California.

We watch as they struggle to survive in face of looming starvation, their slide into 'second class' citizenship and the resentment of their presence and occasional vitriol that accompanies such a descent, their adaptability in maintaining the bonds of community in 'Hoovervilles', and their continual hope that at the end of their struggle there will be a return to life as they know it; a job for Pa, a white house with a picket fence for Ma, and food on the table for the entire Joad family at the end of a hard honest day's work.