The Grapes of Wrath


The Grapes of Wrath CoverIn 1939 The Grapes of Wrath was first published and immediately secured its place as one of the most famous novels in the entire American literary canon. The final piece of Steinbeck's labor trilogy—following In Dubious Battle (1936) and Of Mice and Men (1937)—The Grapes of Wrath was written between March and October of 1938; it was an instant bestseller. The Grapes of Wrath, which has been translated into dozens of languages, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature, and played an important role in Steinbeck winning the Nobel Prize in 1962.

Inspiration came from the 1937 documentary short "The Plow That Broke the Plains" and Steinbeck's experiences researching and writing a series of San Francisco News articles called "The Harvest Gypsies." Steinbeck witnessed labor struggles as large numbers of migrants arrived in California, and he had the opportunity to tour labor camps and interview migrant families. In the winter of 1938, Steinbeck saw firsthand the miserable conditions brought on by intense flooding in Visalia, CA.

Teacher Resources

Downloadable Lesson Plans

Peruse the complete The Grapes of Wrathin-depth durriculum. Find lesson plans, activities, and methodologies that best suit your classroom.

Curated Lessons

Thematically curated selections from The Grapes of Wrath curriculum.

Quiz Questions

Download quiz questions for use in the classroom or by students at home.

Multimedia Links

Listen to John Steinbeck read an excerpt from The Grapes ofWrath.

Immerse yourself in Franklin D. Ashdown's Steinbeck Suite for Organ.

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Suggestions for Further Reading

Specifically for teachers looking to dive more deeply into The Grapes of Wrath.

Student Resources

Resources designed for student use. Teachers can direct students to this section of the website for further information on The Grapes of Wrath. Teachers should peruse this section prior to assigning it to students.