moving toward dreams

Unpacking and getting geared up for my first day as a Library Director! I still can't believe it. So excited and terrified! Anyway, while I wrap my brain around this change, thought I would share a book review for The Grapes of Wrath.

“The Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a decade. Its primary area of impact was on the southern Plains. The northern Plains were not so badly affected, but nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and agricultural decline were no strangers to the north. In fact the agricultural devastation helped to lengthen the Depression whose effects were felt worldwide. The movement of people on the Plains was also profound.” –“Modern American Poetry” page.

Dust Bowl pics
Set during the Dust Bowl, published in 1939, John Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath, won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize (and was made into a movie later that year!); his novel paints a portrait of both the fictional Joad Family in their exodus from Oklahoma, and also an overview of the migrant worker experience of the time. Before the “American Dream,” was its post WWII conceived self, it feels a little like Steinbeck’s migrating characters already had their own sense of it—a want to work, to be able to feed and clothe their families; a want for home and land and something to call their own; a desire to keep their dignity.  

Dust Bowl pics
This novel will hit you; make you feel as helpless and as hopeful as it’s’ characters; will rake across you soul and mind and force you to see yourself as one or many of the characters. This book was so tough and wonderful and satisfying. I am ashamed I’ve never read it before, so glad that I did now!

"And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land.” – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Map of the states affected by
the Dust Bowl
PBS has fantastic info on the Dust Bowl here.


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