Books nonfiction or fiction are for readers enjoyment or the writer’s pleasure. Fiction for the most part are stories that are made up, even if they embodied the ideas of true event.
In the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, there has been some controversy over Steinbeck greatly exaggerating the events of the Great Depression. While this may be true, the book is suppose to used for enjoyment, but at the same times it embodies the essence of the Great depression. No one claimed the book to be completely accurate and it isn’t. It allows people to grasp the big picture of the Great Depression and the Dust Bust while still being enjoyable to read.
Steinbeck did not have an obligation to be accurate. He just wanted to pursue his passion and write. While some of his facts may be true such as the people migrating to California, the reason for their migration was not. The Dust bowl of 1930 and the Great Depression only contributed to a small percentage of the migration. While the majority was due to the economic boom of 1940. Steinbeck wanted to embody the movement of migration. He didn’t necessarily care if it came from the Dust bowl or the economic boom, but the dust bowl ties in with the theme of the story so much better. That is the job of the author. History can be confusing so Steinbeck changed some information around and made the book more interesting and enjoyable, as it is a fictional book.
The Grapes of Wrath is a fictional book based on the events of a true story which can often allow readers to mix up fact from fiction very easily. While I was reading the book I always thought the the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of 1930 were the reason people migrated to California, but now I know the real reason they migrated was due to the economic boom of 1940. After reading Steinbeck’s myth of the Okies by Keith Windschuttle, I now have a better understanding of the history behind the Grapes of Wrath. While reading the essay about all the inconsistencies in Steinbeck’s book I was completely bored. If Steinbeck wrote the truth about the Dust bowl, he wouldn’t have sold over 14 million copies of the book. The facts are just too boring to read and Steinbeck found the perfect combination of fiction and non fiction to inform the people about the migration while still being enjoyable to read.
John Steinbeck did not ask his book to define the era of Great Depression but it just so happened to do so. Readers have to remember that it is a fictional book which means that every word can not be trusted, but it allows reader to grasp the essence of the Great Depression. In that area the Grapes of Wrath exceeds which compelled so many people to read the book and win the Pulitzer prize of Fiction.