The Dust Bowl In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Dust Bowl describes an area in the Great Plains that was devastated by drought during the Great Depression. The area stretched from western Arkansas to the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles to New Mexico, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado and into Missouri. The term “dust bowl” originally meant a geographical area in the Great Plains but is now referred to the time setting for when the storms occurred. The storms came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939-40. Some of the affected regions experienced drought-like conditions for period as long as eight years. Even though the dust storms originated in the Great Plains, the whole country was affected by the storms. The flat and expansive grasslands of the plains were ideal for farmers to convert to cropland. Small farmsteads were converted to multi acre farms with the introduction of…show more content…
After visiting the migration camps in California, John’s Steinbeck wrote his novel “The Grapes of Wrath” describing the struggles facing a family of migrating to California. Steinbeck described living with the dust that so fine at times that “it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes.” Steinbeck was the first writer to describe the 2448 mile road from Chicago to Los Angeles as “Route 66.” He described in detail the deplorable conditions the migrant workers faced and the harassment that greeted them once they arrived out West trying to change their fates. The city of Bakersfield, California was a popular destination for many migrating Okies from Oklahoma. These Okies brought their own style of music to the area with them. This music, sometimes described as the Bakersfield Sound, blended traditional country music and honky tonk music that was the norm for the era. It gave birth to musical legends like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, and also influenced the sound of today’s classic

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