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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Grapes Of Wrath:dustbowl Disaster - 298 words
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In the 1930s, drought and horrific dust storms turned theonce-fertile agricultural lands of mid-America into virtualdust bowls and wastelands. Thousands of destitute farmerspacked their families and belongings into and onto their carsand left their homes in search of agricultural work in centralCalifornia. Their plight and the politics of that day are told inthe novel 'The Grapes of Wrath.' Published in 1939 byCalifornia writer John Steinbeck, the book won the 1940Pulitzer Prize. In his book, Steinbeck champions thedowntrodden migrants, as he follows the Joad family fromOklahoma to California. Tom Joad, eldest son, is the book'sprotagonist and his efforts to save his family are the core ofthe book's story. As Steinbeck writes in his book, 'Themoving, questing people were migrants now. Those familieswhich had lived on a little piece of land, who had lived anddied on forty acres, had now the whole West to rove in.And they scampered about, looking for work; and thehighways were streams of people, and the ditch banks werelines of people.' Often known as 'Okies,' a derogatoryterm, Dust Bowl immigrants like the fictional Joads did notget a warm welcome from California's farmers andpoliticians.
The newcomers were herded into slum-likemigrant camps, given low wages for back-breaking work,and treated like criminals. Much of this was an effort bylocal farmers to take advantage of a cheap labor pool and toprevent labor organizing that would raise wages. Much of itwas the result of fear on the part of Californians who werefaced with a huge influx of ragged families. Whatever thecause, the result wasn't pretty. It shaped the development ofthe Midwest, which lost thousands of people and farms, andof California, which had to develop a new social order tohandle the transplants
The problems faced by those fromOklahoma are not unlike those faced today by migrantworkers from Mexico.
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