The Grapes of Wrath, written by author John Steinbeck, is a novel of American literature, which is very historically based. This novel tells the story of the Joads, a family who migrates to California in search of a better life during the Great Depression. John Steinbeck used the Great Depression as a basis for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. .
He effectively portrays how the struggle of the Joads reflects the hardships of the entire nation.
The Great Depression was the longest and most severe economic depression of the Western world. Many factors led up to this horrible event. Farmers of the nation had never recovered from the recession of the 1920s, and overproduction had driven food prices down. However, it was the Wall Street crash that historians mark as the beginning of this crisis. It started in September of 1929, when the stock market took a downward crash and continued to do so through the month of October. On October 29, 1929, now known as Black Tuesday, the bottom fell out of the stock market. There was so much panicked selling going on, as everyone watched millions of dollars just disappear before their eyes. By mid-November, thirty billion dollars had been lost. This amount was devastating. It was more money spent on World War I, and almost twice the amount of the national debt. (Nishi 5-10).
During the Great Depression, many of citizens of the United States were left jobless. However, out in the country, the farmers were having a much more difficult time coping with the unbearable. They had been in trouble for many years, even before the stock market collapsed. During World War I, they had increased production on their farms to meet up with the demands of the U.S. War Department. But after the war had ended, they continued to produce the same amount, despite the decrease in demand. As a result, many farmers lost a great deal of money. Some farms were even lost to bank foreclosures.