John Steinbeck's The Dust Bowl

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Entry 1 In the first chapter of the novel, Steinbeck goes into depth about the situations that farmers in Oklahoma are facing during the Dust Bowl. He takes the whole chapter to describe the setting. Setting is the time and place of the story’s action. Steinbeck explains the dust in a way that it was everywhere and inescapable: “Now the dust was evenly mixed with the air, an emulsion of dust and air” (3). He also depicts the state the farmers and their families are in. The men of the household seem to be standing strong and still thinking of a way out of this mess while the wives and children look to their husbands and dads for reassurance. The Dust Bowl occurred during Steinbeck’s lifetime so he must’ve taken inspiration from families that…show more content…
Before this chapter, the narrator was an omniscient third person narrator, but in the 7th chapter, a used car salesman narrates the story in the first person. “If the woman likes it we can screw the old man.”(66) After this chapter, the novel resumes back to third person narrator. Point of view is the vantage point from which the story is told. The way Steinbeck chose to use a 1st person point of view to inform the reader about used car salesman popping up frequently in these days and taking advantage of poor farmers by selling cheap, broken down cars for an outrageous price makes the chapter and that information that much more important. This way of writing made the car salesman seem that much more inhumane because the reader gets to experience what goes on in his mind and all the evil things that he’s…show more content…
Style is anything a writer does which distinguishes him or her from other writers. Steinbeck’s style is realism. His writing is realistic because he describes every event, personality, and even places so detailed. “Clarksville and Ozark and Van Buren and Fort Smith on 64, and there’s an end of Arkansas. And all the roads into Oklahoma City, 66 down from Tulsa, 270 up from McAlester…”(128) This is the route which a family took to get to California. I have a feeling that if I started at the same point this family did and used these directions to get to California, I would eventually get there. I think Steinbeck had no choice BUT to be a realistic writer. During his lifetime, so much history happened, starting with World War II, the depression, then the civil rights movement. History and Literature intertwines so seamlessly, and there was so much history and the perspective of the ones who were going through it to write

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