Commentary and description in The Grapes of Wrath

In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck interweaves the narrative with numerous sections of commentary and description. Why do you think he structures the book this way? Is it effective? How does it add to your reading of the book? Are these selections more or less meaningful as the Dustbowl fades into history?

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2 responses to “Commentary and description in The Grapes of Wrath

  1. I think as the book’s historical importance increases, more people will be interested in these descriptive sections. They do distract from the plot however, and require more patience from readers who might be tempted to skip them.

    • albanypubliclibrary

      I confess, I am tempted to skip them. I don’t, but it really slows down any momentum of the narrative. Maybe Steinbeck did that on purpose though, to force the reader to slow down.

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