The grapes of wrath sample presentation

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The grapes of wrath sample presentation

  1. 1. THE GRAPES OF WRATH JANE DOE A Censorship Presentation Example
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS • Book Report • • • • • Themes Setting & Time Period Main Characters Plot My Opinion • Censorship History and Issues • Where? • Why? – Reasons, Who • More? • Rationale for Use • Conclusion • Bibliography
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, was released in 1939, and was written as a response to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The book was immediately criticized and challenged chiefly for political reasons. Others, though, recognized the book as a great piece of literary work, and the book won the 1939 National Book Award, it received a Pulitzer Prize in 1940, and Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Though the book is widely recognized as a notable piece of American literature, it is often still challenged in classrooms and school libraries.
  4. 4. BOOK REPORT • Themes: • Man’s inhumanity to man: History presents the depression and the dustbowl as causes of human suffering, but Steinbeck’s novel provides evidence of the fact that the suffering of migrants was largely caused by the actions of other human beings. • The saving power of family and fellowship: Throughout their journey, the Joads value their commitment to each other above money, food, and all else. While traveling, the family extended their kinship to others which they identified as “their people.” At the end of the novel, Tom Joad realizes that all people are “his people.” • Dignity and strength of the human spirit: The book describes the difficulties that the Joads face throughout their journey, but their constant perseverance shows how strong a person can be in the face of adversity.
  5. 5. BOOK REPORT • Setting: • The story begins in Oklahoma where the Joad family has lived and farmed for more than a generation. When the family is forced off their land by the bank, they begin a journey to California in hopes of finding jobs and establishing a new home. • Time Period: • The story is set in the late 1930s, at the height of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
  6. 6. BOOK REPORT • Main Characters: • The main characters include the Mother of the Joad family, Ma, who leads the family in their time of misfortune. • A second main character is a son of the Joads, Tom, who, at the beginning of the novel, is paroled from his prison sentence, which he served for killing a man in a bar fight. Throughout the novel, Tom learns about humanity. • A third main character is Jim Casy, a former preacher who travels with the Joads and has a large impact on Tom. After being separated, Tom finds Casy at the end of the novel. Casy realizes how the businessmen are able to take advantage of the workers and he teaches Tom that the only solution is for the workers to unite and strike.
  7. 7. BOOK REPORT • Plot: • The story begins with Tom Joad travelling home to meet his family after being released from prison. When he finds his family, he learns that they no longer have a home or land, and that they are travelling to California to find jobs and a new home. • Throughout their journey, the family faces many hardships, including death, car troubles, financial strain, and rumors that jobs are scarce and life is difficult in California. The Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon, is pregnant at the beginning of the novel, which is another source for concern throughout the journey. When the family arrives in California they learn that the rumors are true. They live as migrants, searching for work, lodging, and food. There is no clear resolution for the troubles facing the Joads, but most importantly, they do have each other.
  8. 8. BOOK REPORT • My Opinion: • I enjoyed reading the book and found it to be an entertaining tale as well as an interesting book that can be related to history. Steinbeck includes many chapters that do not relate directly to the plot of the book, but rather to the setting, which I did not initially enjoy, but as I read further, I began to appreciate the background provided in these chapters.
  9. 9. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • Where? • Kansas City, Kansas: (1939) • Banned by the board of education in public libraries for reasons of indecency, obscenity, the portrayal of women, “portraying life in such a bestial way” (Karolides, 2011) • Kanawha, Iowa (1980) • Banned from classrooms due to a parent’s complaints about vulgar language, use of the Lord’s name in vain, a preacher who is an immoral hypocrite. • Teachers could still recommend the book, which was still available in the school library. (Karolides, 2011)
  10. 10. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • Where? • Kern County California: (1939) • The site of much of the action that takes place in the second half of the novel. • The banning was fueled by the government’s anger about the portrayal of the county and the Associated Famers group for the personal attack on their morality. • Reasons for banning: “The Grapes of Wrath has offended our citizenry” (Karolides, 2011), to remove the smear of the good name of Kern, a “lie promoting hatred” (Karolides, 2011) • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several other local unions objected to the banning. • The book was not returned to libraries in the county until 1941, and the book was finally was allowed to be taught in the public high school in 1972. (Karolides, 2011)
  11. 11. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • Where? • Richford, Vermont (1981) • Challenged by five parents for immoral and offensive contents. • The parents fought for the book to be banned from the school library and high school classrooms. • 25 parents spoke out in support of the book. • The committee decided the book should not be banned, and no restrictions would be placed upon it. • The principle stated, “In some cases, we allow students an alternative id the parents object to the material. But some works like The Grapes of Wrath, we consider essential.” (Karolides, 2011)
  12. 12. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • More instances of censorship of The Grapes of Wrath can be easily found. • The book has been ranked by Burress as the second most banned book in American high schools between the years 1965 – 1981. (Karolides, 2011) • Copies of the book were burned in St. Louis (Foerstel, 1994) • A student-painted mural in an elementary school in San Diego, CA was painted over in 1990 because it showed banned books, including The Grapes of Wrath. (Foerstel, 1994)
  13. 13. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • Why? • Common reasons for censorship: • • • • Political controversy vulgar language using the lord’s name in vain sexual references • Who censors? • Recent censors of The Grapes of Wrath tend to be extremely religious people – usually parents and supporting ministers • Initial censors of the book censored out of fear. August 1939 was a tense time in American History; revolution seemed like a possibility to many. Many believed that the book was acting as an instigating force. (Wartzman, 2008)
  14. 14. CENSORSHIP HISTORY & ISSUES • More? • More books by Steinbeck that have been challenged or banned: • Of Mice and Men: another commonly censored book written by John Steinbeck. Reasoning for banning this book includes vulgar language, violence, sexism, and racism. • The Pearl • The Red Pony • In Dubious Battle • East of Eden
  15. 15. RATIONALE FOR USE • For what class is this book especially appropriate? • This book would be fitting in a high school American Literature class. It also deserves a spot in college American Literature classes, but because not every student will attend college, or students may not take American Literature in college, it is essential to teach the book in high schools. It would be especially beneficial to students if English and History teachers work together to help the students understand the story as well as the context of the setting. • To what particular objectives, literary or psychological or pedagogical, does this book lend itself? • The book seeks to help students understand human life experiences. This will help students to develop into responsible adults who understand others. Reading about the experiences of the Joads can be eye opening to students who have never had to experience harsh circumstances such as the ones described in the book. Reading the book also teaches students about various styles of writing. Students can observe how Steinbeck breaks up the novel with additional information about the setting.
  16. 16. RATIONALE FOR USE • In what ways will the book be used to meet those objectives? • The book can be discussed in class by the students and teacher to provide additional perspectives gained from the reading. Students may partake in a classroom activity where they have to write bullet points supporting and then defending the migrant workers as well as the businessmen. The students may also be asked to participate in a writing activity where they attempt to write a short story in the style of John Steinbeck. • What problems of style, tone, or theme or possible grounds for censorship exist in the book? • The author uses language that some would find offensive, but it essential to the development of the characters and the situations in the book. The themes (man’s inhumanity to man, the saving power of family and fellowship, and dignity and strength of the human spirit) are generally positive ideas that most parents would want taught to their children. The only theme that might be found to be controversial is man’s inhumanity to man, but it is historically correct and it is important for students to learn about the past.
  17. 17. RATIONALE FOR USE • How does the teacher plan to meet those problems? • The teacher can prepare the students for the language by having a responsible talk with them, letting the students know that the words in the book are just words, but they are still not appropriate to be used in the classroom. The controversial theme of man’s inhumanity to man can be addressed in the English and History classrooms to help the students understand the context surrounding the actions. • Assuming that the objectives are met, how would students be different because of their reading of this book? • If the objectives are met, students should be enlightened and more open community members. The information in the book should help students to be accepting of different people and understanding of others experiences. Students should also be stronger readers and writers and they will understand Steinbeck’s style of writing.
  18. 18. RATIONAL FOR USE • What are some other appropriate books an individual student might read in place of this book? • Alternatives to Grapes of Wrath include Steinbeck’s other books, such as Cannery Row or Of Mice and Men. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is another important piece of American Literature that could be read. The style of writing is aimed at younger students, but the concepts in the book are appropriate for high school students. Another book that covers the same topics could be Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust. • What reputable sources have recommended this book? What have critics said about it? • The book is recognized as a great piece of literary work. The book won the 1939 National Book Award, it received a Pulitzer Prize in 1940, and Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
  19. 19. CONCLUSION John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, provides readers with information that can lead to increased knowledge and a greater understanding of literature as well as history. This book taught me about the lives that many people lived during the 1930s and the causes of their hardships. It is a great loss to students, whether it is a whole class full or one individual, who are not exposed to the book. It is disappointing that some parents challenge the book because they cannot see past the curse words to understand the theme of the novel, but parents and students do deserve the right to challenge a novel and read a different book if they find the book offensive. I do believe that it is a parent’s duty, though, to educate their children, rather than shield them from what they perceive to be wrong.
  20. 20. BIBLIOGRAPHY Foerstel, H. N., (1994). The Grapes of Wrath. In Banned in the U.S.A.: A reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries. (pp. 196-197). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Karolides, N. J., (2011). The Grapes of Wrath. In Banned Books: Literature suppressed on political grounds. (Rev. ed., pp. 213-227). New York, NY: Facts on File. Kravitz, N., (2002). Censorship and the School Library Media Center. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Steinbeck, J., (1939). The Grapes of Wrath. New York, NY: Penguin Books. Wartzman, R., (2008). Obscene in the Extreme: The burning and banning of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. New York, NY: Public Affairs.

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