Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck

Authors often use many styles and techniques in their novels. They use certain
methods in order to make their stories seem more real. John Steinbeck uses many
literary techniques in The Grapes of Wrath to help the reader better understand
the story. The interchapters in The Grapes of Wrath often foreshadow the regular
chapters. They are more of a general picture as to what went on during that time
period in America. The regular chapters are meant to represent a specific
family, the Joads, and document their journey to California and usually the
interchapters have something to do with the story line of the Joads’
adventures. The interchapters became predictable as the story progressed, and
after awhile the two different types of chapters gave the story a rhythmical
pattern. John Steinbeck uses a certain dialect throughout the whole story which
makes the reader see how people talked during that time period. This also aids
the reader in feeling like they are part of the story, and it helps him to
understand the way things were back then. Many slang words and phrases typical
of the early 1900s are used to make the conversations true to life. For
instance, in the first chapter at the roadside diner, the conversation between
the customer and the waitress right away tell the reader the kind of dialect
that will be used during the story. Steinbeck has a very distinctive style of
writing. He uses many descriptive phrases and words to help give the reader a
clear picture as to what is happening in the story. His use of alliteration and
repetition makes the sentences and paragraphs easier to follow because of the
rhythm and flow that is added to them. Steinbeck uses symbolism in order to show
the importance of some ideals and main themes of the novel. For example, the
turtle that was walking across the road represents the long, treacherous
journeys that many families took to get to California. The dust that settled
over the crops symbolizes the harshness that fell over the many farms, therefore
forcing the people off of the land. Rose of Sharon’s stillborn baby shows the
reader that long, painful journeys, filled with many problems along the way,
sometimes amount to nothing in the end. In order to understand the story and its
many hidden meanings, the reader must pick up on Steinbeck’s style of writing.

These writing techniques of Steinbeck aid the reader in his analysis of The

Grapes of Wrath.