John Steinbeck


Edited by: Československý spisovatel in 1968 v Praze
Translated from American original by: Vladimír Procházka

Something about John Steinbeck:
(1902 - 1968)
- American writer and scriptor and journalist
- he got Nobell price for literature and Pullitzer price
- he wrote prose, some of him masterpieces: Hrozny hněvu,O myších a lidech, Toulavý autobus
- he also wrote reportages from Vietnam`s War and he denounced it
- in one epoque of his live he often visited horce races and he wrote reportage Óda na Kentucky Derby

About Hrozny hněvu:
- he wrote it in 1939
- it is social novel from Oclahoma, California of 30`s of 20th century (economical depresion)

- Jouds` family and partly farmers in Oclahoma too (kolektivní hrdina)
- young Tom Joad, his sister Rose, his father Tom and his brother Jan, mother Joad, grandparents and Rose`s housband Conni, small brother Winfield and sister Ruth

- young Tom Joad is let out from prison (he was there for murrder)
- he returns to born house in Oclahoma
- his family live there for many generation, they work in the field and it is the one possibility of their living
- when Tom cames to his born vilage, he sees, that most houses are empty, because farmers left them
- it was dry and no harvest and farmers could not pay their debts, therefore the banks took their lots – banks want to use modern machines there – tractors, because they can do more work than people
- many pleople leave the vilage only with their small private property and they travel to sunny California, because they think, that they will have better live there, because there is a work for everybody
- Tom`s family also leaves the vilage and travels to California by their car
- to this long voyage go Tom`s father, mather, uncle, grandparents and sister Rose with his housband Conni and small sister Ruth (Růtička) and Winfield
- ex-preacher Jim Casy adds to them, he is later prisoned after the conflict with police – it was Tom`s conflict, but he had to hide and Casy took it to himself
- the voyage is very distressful
- in the first time dies Tom`s grandfather and his gramdmother dies later
- his sister Rose is gravid and her housband leaves her in one stop, because he probably thinks, that he can find better job alone
- whole family is very tired and they suffer a lot
- the main person and leader of the family starts to be mother Joad, because she does not want to break up of the family
- they have to save money to have a petrol to their car
- they come to California, but they are very bad surprised, because there is a lot of fugitives (tzv. „okiů“) and no work
- so they travel through California and time to time they get some job and earn a few dollars by picking up peachs and cotton
- they live in awful camps and they eat awful meal and people hate them, because they take them their work, because fugitives work for less money than normal people, because they are in critical situation and need some money to food
- in one camp of peachs` pickers in critical situation Tom kills one of the Sherifs, who came to stop workers` rebeling, here he also see Conni, who is killed by one sherif (people here hate Joads` family, because they were strike-breakers = stávkokazi, they came to this capm and go working, but they don`t know about strike)
- the family go to next work, but Tom has to hide and his mother brings him some meal to the bushs secretly, but one day Ruth say something about Tom`s murrder among children and he has to disappear definitly
- Rose`s child was born dead
- they lived in carriage, but they have to leave it during the flood
- they move to one old building and find there a man
- at the end of the book Rosa rescues hungry and daing man by her maternity milk
- the end of whole family is uncertain and somebody can say, it is not finished

Novel description:
- it is a novel with strong social-critic character
- we can find there some signs of colectivism (comunity of fugitives)
- motif of long way, journey (travel to everything or nothing, somewhere or nowhere,...)
- we also find some symbols from Bible – journey to Promised Land, some hopeful visions, human suffering, role of fate, ...
- it is a picture of society of this epoque in USA history
- it is celebration of human solidarity and we can see how people can be helpful to each other in critical moments when they have the same objectives – in this we can see some optimism
- but we can also see economical and moral break up Joads` family

Author`s style:
- in direct speach he uses dialect („diuný“, „hlauně“, „prauda“, „toť“ aj.)
- parts of plot are variegated by parts with consicerations = střídání dějových pasáží s úvahovými
- symbols – hrozen = cluster  it is a symbol of good harvest in the start, but later it is symbol of anger = hněv

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  7. září 2007
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