I think what is timeless about this book is that it does not just deal with people in a certain place, but with ideas as well. It relates ideas about society and economics and even government to a small extent, and those things are always present in daily life, no matter how desperately I try to escape them. The ideas are important not only because they make the story relatable, but also because they make it interesting.
The ideas about society in this book seem pretty strange to me, but at the same time others sound nice. The part about everyone having only a piece of a bigger soul sounds very wrong to me somehow. Maybe it is because I value my individualism above all things. Call me crazy, but I want my soul to be strictly mine. The parts where it talks about people working and living together sound pretty good to me though. I think that because these ideas are in the book, it gives people like me something to think about that is bigger than just the characters and what they are doing, which makes the book a lot more interesting. The thoughts it provokes about even religious thing are pretty deep too.
The way it talks about unions also has me thinking. Unions sound like a really good thing for the migrants, but then there are also laws of economics like supply and demand to think about. Questions and debates about these things are important, and despite the story’s age, still relevant today. The fact that the book raises questions about things that are still relevant long after the time it was written is the reason the book is so timeless. Why read a book that is squarely set in the past, with no connection to the present what so ever? Well, maybe the hypothetical book is entertaining, but that is beside the point. The Grapes of Wrath is interesting and timeless because it has connections with present life.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.