First published in 1939, Grapes of Wrath is a classic American novel. It dramatizes the themes of westward movement and the failure of the American Dream before the background of the economic and ecological catastrophes of the 1930s: the Great Depression, triggered by the stock market crash in 1929, and the Dust Bowl, an ecological disaster that forced inhabitants of western states to desert their homes and migrate to California in hope of a new beginning. We will discuss the novel in the context of these historical events and look at the literary response and how it changed over the decades.
Texts to be purchased and read:
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath. Penguin. ISBN-13: 978-0141394886
A Reader with additional texts (Copy&Paste)
Admission to the class depends on students to sign up electronically. All students have to participate in a QUIZ (Lektürekontrolle) on the first 100 pages of the novel, in the first session. Please read and bring along the novel for that purpose.