Santa Rosa Junior College Library Internet Reference

photo of 
book jacket SRJC English Department

Fall 2002 Work of Literary Merit (WOLM)

The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck

To find information about John Steinbeck and his work, try some of the following sources:

Literature Resource Center & Other Databases
Books, Articles and Films on Library Reserve
Selected Web Sites on Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath and Related Topics
WOLM Lectures at SRJC

What is the Work of Literary Merit (WOLM)?
Previous Semesters' WOLM pages

Literature Resource Center

This online database includes biographical and critical information about John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath, drawn from hundreds of literature reference books. (SRJC User Name and PIN required for off-campus use.)

Much additional literary criticism can be found in the print volumes of Twentieth Century Literary Criticism ( Ref PN 771 .G27) and Contemporary Literary Criticism (Ref PN 771 .C59) which are published by the same company. These sets of reference books are located in the Plover Library reference collection. (Ask the reference librarian to show you where they are.)

Twayne's Authors Series
This database offers biographical information on John Steinbeck as well as detailed discussions of his works. Chapter Six deals with The Grapes of Wrath.
(SRJC User Name and PIN required for off-campus use.)
InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP
InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP contains citations to magazine and journal articles on many topics. A search on "steinbeck john" (not "john steinbeck") will locate numerous articles in online magazines as well as magazines held in the SRJC libraries. See InfoTrac search on steinbeck and "grapes of wrath"
(SRJC User Name and PIN required for off-campus use.)

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Books, Articles and Films on Library Reserve for the WOLM

A collection of books and journal articles about John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath have been placed on reserve in the SRJC libraries for student use in the WOLM project. In addition, several films related to Steinbeck and his works may be be viewed in the libraries. In the Plover Library, ask for books and articles at the Reserve Books window; ask for films at the Media Services window. In the Mahoney Library, ask for books, articles or films at the Circulation Desk.

Web Sites on Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath and Related Topics

The Grapes of Web
From the Librarians' Index to the Internet, this list links to many websites on topics related to The Grapes of Wrath. Topics include: John Steinbeck, the novel(Grapes of Wrath), the film, music, humor, agricultural laborers, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression and more. Also included are links to samples of photos by Dorothea Lange and some of the other famed photographers of the Dust Bowl and migrant experiences.
John Steinbeck: The California Novels
This website by university student Ed Stephan, offers brief study guides on each of Steinbeck's novels, including The Grapes of Wrath. Guides contain lists of characters, chapter-by-chapter summaries, maps of story locales and various other links related to the stories.
Pink Monkey Literature Notes on The Grapes of Wrath.
A brief study guide which offers discussion of the novel's themes, characters, settings, background information etc. as well as chapter by chapter summaries.
The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and The Pearl by John Steinbeck
A brief discussion and some discussion questions, from the Great Books Foundation
The National Steinbeck Center
in Salinas, California
San Jose State University Center for Steinbeck Studies
This website offers information on Steinbeck's life and work, his homes and the California areas in which his novels are set, and a copy of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. The Center itself houses over 10,000 original manuscripts, letters, signed first editions, books about Steinbeck and his work, photographs, films and other materials.

Background Information

American Cultural History, 1930-1939
From the Kingwood College Library in Texas, this excellent website offers an overview of the 1930s in the United States. The page presents statistics (population, life expectancy, average salary, unemployment, etc.), as well as information on the art, architecture, popular books and music, radio shows, fashions, fads, people and personalities, events, education, science and technology of the decade in which The Grapes of Wrath is set.
The American Experience; Surviving the Dust Bowl
Background material for a PBS film on the great drought and the Dust Bowl Experience. Includes an overview, a timeline of the Dust Bowl, from 1931 through 1939, as well as information on several notable people from the era, the Great Depression, the drought, New Deal remedies, Black Sunday, and other related events.
The Migrant Experience
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress offers this brief discussion of the roots of the Dust Bowl migration to California and presents Voices from the Dust Bowl, texts and sound clips of songs sung by the migrants as well as copies of articles from the era.
The New Deal Network: The Great Depression, the 1930s and the Roosevelt Administration
An educational guide to the Great Depression of the 1930s, featuring a document library with over 900 articles, speeches and other texts, a photo gallery with over 5,000 Depression era images, writings from high school students in the 1930s and more.
Banned Books Week
The Grapes of Wrath was controversial when it first came out, and it was banned in certain places in the United States. This website from the American Library Association is a good place to read about issues of censorship--Why are books challenged? Who challenges them? What are the most frequently challenged books? and so forth. NOTE: To locate book reviews which were written at the time The Grapes of Wrath was first published, see the 1939 volume of the Book Review Digest in the Plover Library reference collection. (Ref Z1219 .C95)

Photos and Drawings

America from the Great Depression to World War II; Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1939-1945
The Dust Bowl
Dust storms
Dorothea Lange, photographer
More photos by Dorothea Lange,
Photos by Walker Evans
More Walker Evans Photographs
New Deal Network Photo Gallery

Music of the Dust Bowl

Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Balladeer
Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Ballads
Song lyrics for a Woody Guthrie recording. Songs include "Blowing Down the Old Dusty Road," "(If You Ain't Got the) Do Re Mi," "Dust Bowl Blues," "Talking Dust Bowl," "Tom Joad," "So Long It's Been Good to Know You," and others. (Sound clips are not available here, but you can hear a few at The recording is available from the SRJC Library's Media Services Department (Compact Disc 1148.).
Voices from the Dust Bowl
Music and words which document the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in Central California in 1940 and 1941. Includes recordings of songs and the texts of interviews as well as photographs.
Manufacturing Memory: American Popular Music in the 1930s
Information on music from the Big Band sound, jazz and blues to the later "race records," "hillbilly" and "ethnic" music. Some sound recordings are included.

Farmworkers and Migrant Workers Today

The Struggle in California
This page from The Farmworkers' Website gives a brief history of agricultural workers in California, ending with the struggle to unionize.
United Farm Workers
The official website of an agricultural farm worker's union today. UFW was started in California by Cesar Chavez.
Migrant Laborers Face Daily Risk
An August 29, 2002 article from the Orange County Register about the problems faced by some of today's migrant workers in California.
Pesticide Illness in Farmworkers in the United States and California
California is the top agricultural producing state in the U.S. Over 186 million pound of agricultural pesticides were reported used in 1999; 30% of the pesticides were on California's list of checmicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.
Farmworkers: Stories, Photographs
From photographer David Bacon, a slide show with 41 photographs depicting the conditions in the fields and the organizing activities of farmworkers in the Salinas Valley, Coachella and Napa in the mid to late 1990s.


Family sing-along featuring songs by Woody Guthrie. With Jim Corbett (aka Mr. Music) and assorted guest artists. Lyrics will be projected.
Steele Lane Community Center. Saturday, October 5, 2002. 7:00 p.m. Tickets: Adults $8, Seniors 60+ $6, Children 6 - 17 $4, under 5 free.
Sonoma County Reads! The Grapes of Wrath
From the Sonoma County Library, information about a month-long program, including a schedule of events occurring around the Sonoma County which pertain to the novel.
Reading The Grapes of Wrath
From the California Council for the Humanities, a list of events happening in other Northern California counties

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WOLM Lecture Series  
Fri, Oct. 18, 6:30 - 9:30 P.M.
Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa campus
Film: The Grapes of Wrath, starring Henry Fonda
Discussion, Panel and Audience
Discussion led by SRJC History instructors Andre LaRue, Anne Donegan, and Marty Bennett
Mon, Oct. 21
Santa Rosa campus:
12:15 P.M.. Newman Auditorium
Petaluma campus:
7:30 P.M., Mahoney Library
The Grapes of Wrath: The Book That Stretched My Soul Gerald W. Haslam, Author and Emeritus Professor of English, Sonoma State University
Tues. Oct 22, 7:00 P.M.
Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa campus
Panel Discussion English Department faculty
Wed. Oct 23, 12:00 Noon
Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa campus

CANCELLED due to illness. Sorry!

[ Ghosts, Outlaws, Heroes & Refugees: Music for Ma Joad ]

CANCELLED due to illness. Sorry!

[ Will Spires, SRJC Anthropology and History Instructor ]
Mon, Oct 28, 7:00 P.M.
Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa campus
The Grapes of Wrath and the Great Depression in California: Historical Memory and Meaning Historians Dr. Clarice Stasz and Dr. Daniel Markwyn, Sonoma State University
Marty Bennett and Andre LaRue, Santa Rosa Junior College

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Last Modified: Thursday, 02-Oct-2003 15:04:59 PDT