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August 19, 2009

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Julie Chen

I think the ending isn't exactly a symbol or a trick; I think it goes in accordance to the rest of the book pretty well. There is clearly no resolution to this story; the never-ending struggle for survival will continue forever and an additional chapter would probably not have added much. The point of the last scene, in my opinion, isn't to shock the reader, but to confirm that human compassion remains the single most important trait that remains within the migrants. No matter what has happened, in the end, everyone's in the same boat, and everyone has to pick up the broken pieces and continue onward. What Rose of Sharon did is very courageous of her; I almost didn't think she had it in her, considering that she had been emotionally and physically drained much of the journey, but I think she finally came to her own at this point.

Balanor

Revelations chapter 25 is the source of the book title:

"and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

Solomon Chapter 2 is a source as well:

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."

Steinbeck opens his story with the bitter blood of the wrathful god.
It ends with the milk for new life.

Caroline Porter

I just finished Grapes of Wrath on my kindle yesterday. And the ending kind of hit me in the face - thought a chapter or two had been left off. I'd been wondering what would happen for Rosasharn and her baby and when it turned out bad thought it might reflect something about malnutrition. But there was so much else going bad. Tom gone, prices and wages, the storm, the impossibility of driving away from it all. What came to mind when I realised there was no more, was "it doesn't matter how bad things get, life must go on" - not just Rosasharn feeding the man to save his life but Al and Aggie wanting to marry and make a go of it on their own. But from our angle, we see their futures as hopeless but love is still holding on.

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