This month's book club read was John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
I will be honest with you. I was looking forward to racking up another classic on
my "I read that" list. I had read Of Mice and Men years ago and liked it. So I thought
this was an obvious choice.
I finally finished it this week and it left me scratching my head, wondering who decides
which stories will be "classics" and which stories won't.
I'm not saying that I didn't appreciate the story and the great descriptive details
that were so helpful in understanding the plight of migrant workers from our
own mid-west. As well, the mistakes of Big Government and Big Banking were
not lost on me either. In some ways it reminded of our most recent housing bubble.
What I found disturbing is the fact that this book is required reading in many
high schools and in some jr. high schools. It has a lot of adult content and
adult situations. I would not recommend it for anyone under 30. Why, you might ask.
Most young people in our country today would have no way to relate to this level
of misery, pride, dignity or desperation and hopelessness. I think that it takes some
living and experience to be able to see beyond the pitiful and depressive subject.
I think that this important time in our history is better taught by a good history teacher.
I also HATED how it ended! What happened to young Tom Joad? Did AL and
Agnes make it on their own? Did the family even survive the first year in California?
Really Mr. Steinbeck? How could you leave your precious reader dangling?
Does anyone else ever ask,
"Classic? Says, who?"