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Matthew Sinrod Dr Doyle Eng 102 5598 Themes in The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck was born in Salinas California February 27th 1902 He was the third of four children and the only son of John Ernst Steinbeck II manager of a flour mill and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck a former teacher Steinbeck said of his youth We were poor people with a hell of a lot of land which made us think we were rich people even when we couldnt buy food and were patched Steinbeck used the area where he grew up as the setting for many of his stories He attended Stanford University for a few years He had to work to pay for his education and sometimes took off one quarter to pay for the next He worked as a clerk in several stores was a hand in a ranch and even worked at the Spreckels Sugar Company where he gained knowledge of labor problems he would later write about in The Grapes of Wrath Other books by Steinbeck include Of Mice and Men Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row He died in New York City on December 20th 1968 Sinrod 2 A constant theme in our story is the suffering of humans As FW Watt says The primary impact of The Grapes of Wrathis not to make us act but to make us understand and share a human experience of suffering and resistance Steinbeck shows us that his characters as well as all people must endure suffering as human beings Humans suffer due to many factors Religious suffering is one factor which is self imposed When we first see Casy he is explaining to Tom Joad how he left preaching not merely because of the lusts that plagued him but because religious faith as he knew it seemed to set up codes of behavior which denied human nature its proper and full expression Religious suffering is perhaps epitomized in Jesus Christ and
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