To call John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath anything less than a literary masterpiece is to do the deeply beautiful novel a complete disservice. Published in 1939 to a sea of controversy, Steinbeck’s most widely known and respected work received the Pulitzer Prize for its stunning and stark depiction of American life, and in particular, the hardships that befall the Joad family. Steinbeck tells the tale of the Joad family, tenant farmers who are forced to leave their Oklahoma home, and decide to head west in hopes of a better and richer future on the California vineyards. However, their dreams are resoundingly crushed when they discover thousands and thousands of other “Okies”, the derogatory term given to the Oklahoma immigrants, have accompanied their migration west, making jobs scarce and pay abominably low. Chronicling the Joads’ stout and enduring spirit in the face of terrible conditions, Steinbeck is critically acclaimed for his adept and colorful characterization of each individual Joad. The Grapes of Wrath will be most appropriate for mature readers who are prepared to invest considerable time and energy into the reading, but committed readers will find themselves rewarded with Steinbeck’s moving and poignant tribute to the resolute strength of the human character.