Grapes of Wrath

No wonder a must-read-book

Animals are not just animals

In the novel, animals are described meticulously. They mean something more than a livestock. For instance, the book starts with a turtle. Yet this unfortunate little guy almost gets ran over. The scene represents the callousness of the people and the hardships of life they have to face, which is the main reason for their indelicacy. Also, in the later phase of the novel, there are descriptions of other animals like birds. The animals are used to foreshadow what would happen to the human characters; the animals are the vicarious “victims” that represents the mankind. The film, however, does not catch all the small nuisances of these animals. Although the film also includes the poor turtle scene, it does not fully incorporate what that turtle has to do with the flow of the plot.

The Subtle Descriptions Left Out

The main character in the book is Tom Joad. It would be hard to argue against it. Steinbeck focuses on developing this character throughout the book. His thoughts are presented through Joad. Similarly, Steinbeck tends to focus on character by character, giving many of them some time to describe them and show the world more realistically. On the other hand, the film depicts the entire family as a single unit rather than individual characters. Thus the movie tends to be more optimistic in that the family is trying to withstand the hardships together, whereas the book shows certain conflicts that everyone faces, making their lives a little more miserable than it already was.

Inhumanity towards others

Hopelessness pervades...

Ending Changes All

The ending of the book and the movie is significantly different and dramatically shows the difference between the moods of each medium. As the books keeps on pointing at the inhumanity of the people and forlorn reality of that time period, the Joads end up with Rose of Sharon, who gives birth to a stillborn baby. To the very end, the book keeps its somber tone and does not depict much hope for anyone. On the other hand, the movie tends to keep a lighter, happier tone. So the Joads settle in a government camp where it is nice and cozy, at least compared to the shack that was described in the book. Such scene insinuates a happier future for the Joads, unlike the novel.