Intercalary Chapters In John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath

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Throughout Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath several of the chapters are spaced by intercalary chapters. Which are chapters that contain general information on comments based off of the previous chapters presented. Intercalary chapters can be seen as a distraction or a “waste of space” to some readers. But, others believe that it is a great way to clarify what has happened in the preceding chapter. I for one believe that the use of intercalary chapters have assisted in aiding me with a better understanding of the overall meaning of Grapes of Wrath. The overall message is that people need to stay together and work together in order to survive tough times.

In addition, intercalary chapters work to familiarize the reader with what has yet to come or in order to clarify what has already happened. Throughout chapter one Steinbeck describes the scene and gives the reader background on the time period and describes the setting of the novel. It describes that the time period is during the dust bowl, it is a very solemn and dark time period where people have little to no money.
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It interrupts the storyline and causes the reader to lose track of what they have just read. Not only does it distract from the novel but also it takes a narrative and alters it into a nonfictional work. Adding more information causes the reader to become sidetracked and can cause them to lose interest in the ongoing events throughout the novel. Overall, the use of intercalary chapters affects not only the novel but me in a positive way. They have the power to provide the reader with background information on what they will soon be reading. With the addition of intercalary chapters I have a better overall understanding of what the Joad family endures throughout the novel. Whether or not intercalary chapters aid a novel is solely dependent on how the reader perceives the novel as a
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