The Grapes of Wrath: movie analysis Analytical Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Grapes of Wrath film was produced in 1940 after the publication of a novel with a similar name. The movie talks about one family in Oklahoma that lost its belongings in 1930 due to the Great Depression. The family migrated to California and depended on wages from landowners for survival. In the movie, the family is depicted as one of the struggling families in the United States after the economic crisis of 1930.

The first part of the movie is similar to the novel, but the second part of the film differs greatly with the book. In the book, the author observes that the family could not stick together in the end due to unexplained reasons (Steinbeck 37). The book shows that the chances of Joad’s family living together were minimal because the economic conditions were expected to worsen.

In the movie, the family ended up living peacefully because the government provided necessary help and support. It shows that the ending of the movie and the novel are different. While the author of the novel is pessimistic, the producer of the movie is optimistic about the family. The producer noted that it would be controversial to end the movie in a pessimistic mood.

In the movie, some ugly events, such as the birth of the stillborn baby, are not included. The author noted that Rosasharn gave birth to a stillborn baby, but the baby died after some time.

When the Joad family arrived at the department of agriculture camp, the film shows that the family was received well. There was some optimism that life would be better when the family landed at the camp. In the book, the author does not show any optimism.

In the novel, Joad family is displayed as a greedy family that wishes to land a well paying job whenever it arrives at its destination. The landowners were always in conflicts with workers in the novel because they were unwilling to pay extra wages to workers. Workers were described as reds who wanted to be paid extra wages. Workers wanted to be paid thirty-cents per hour yet landowners were paying them twenty-five.

In other words, workers are displayed in the novel as people who do not consider the hard economic conditions. In the movie, workers are presented as considerate people who were always willing to sacrifice everything to save the economy. In fact, workers resorted to spiritual intervention whenever things were not working as expected (Sobchack 596).

In the movie, some characters are not included. For instance, Ivy and Sairy were never included in the movie yet they attended Grandpa’s burial in the novel. Moreover, the departure of Noah is not shown in the movie. In the book, Floyd explained how workers were taken through torture.

He explained to Tom how workers were suffering in the hands of landowners. In the Movie, Floyd does not feature until the appearance of the deputy in Hooverville. Moreover, the religious extremist (Rose of Sharon) is not shown in the movie. This shows that quit a number of characters are left out in the movie.

The movie and the novel differ in style. While the film uses visual imagery to show the solidness of the Joad’s family, the novel presents the family as a family of man meaning that a different style is employed. The film shows that the family was united and power was distributed equally between a man and a woman. However, the novel shows that man was always the head of the family.

Works Cited

Sobchack, Vivian. “The Grapes of Wrath (1940): Thematic Emphasis through Visual Style”. American Quarterly 31.5 (1979): 596–615. Print.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath, 1939. New York: Penguin Classics, 1992. Print.

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