I was very unsatisfied with the end of the book. I know that the ending was written to make a statement to the audience, but for God’s sake, is it so much to ask for a solid and definite ending? The way it ends, the entire family could starve to death within a week (Steinbeck 372). If they had all drowned to death or starved that would at least be something. Sad and horrible, yes, but at least it would be definite. At the least it could end with some small hope for the family, like a plan to get some steady work. That would be less morbid and good enough for me. Instead, the author leaves a completely open ending, and leaves me to worry about the entire darn family. It is really not fair.
Another thing that bothered me about the book was the themes. Do not misunderstand me, the book was very well written, and the themes are presented wonderfully. I just find those themes to be evil. Sure, people being together and sharing what they have is a wonderful thing, but I am a good deal hung up on the “one big soul” thing (Steinbeck 22). If a person’s soul does not belong solely to them, then that means everyone else has a claim on that person’s very soul. Can you imagine anything more horrendously evil? I believe it is a good thing for people to help each other, but I do not think it is a good idea for people to believe that other people have a claim on whatever it is they may have. In fact, I think it is horrible in the worst way.
I thought the characters were very believable, if not too realistic. How something can be believable and not realistic is beyond me, but that is how I feel about it. Maybe it is because the situations the characters were in were real, and because of that I felt sympathy for characters I did not really believe before.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.