Ap Summer Essay

Submitted By Makadorious1
Words: 621
Pages: 3

Arthur Flynn
AP English
August 19, 2013 “Impact of Geography” Chapter 19 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster helps you understand the effect of the geography described in Chapter 1 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Foster says that geography isn’t just a setting but “It’s place and space and shape that bring us to ideas and psychology and history and dynamism.” (Pg. 174) He also asks the reader to get a feeling of the current time and the situation the people were in from the geography of the story. Steinbeck adds to this by assuming we see deserts and sunsets as something more important than its literal meaning. Grapes of Wrath starts with a description of Oklahoma in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. He says, “the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth,” (Pg. 3) the ground is becoming too dry, it can’t be saved by a little rain, the drought is becoming a serious implication. The earth itself needs a serious amount of water to regain fertility. “A gentle wind followed the rain clouds, driving them on northward, a wind that softly clashed the dying corn,” (Pg. 4) Steinbeck offers the chance of rain and salvation, but then throws these hopes away by driving away the rain with the wind and starts to destroy the crop, the one thing the earth has left. “Now the wind grew strong and hard and it worked at the rain crust in the corn fields,” (Pg. 4) any chance of survival in this land is being dashed away by having the wind ravage the land by destroying the fields of corn. “The wind cried and whimpered over the fallen corn,” (Pg. 5) the earth is left desolate, empty, and impoverished by the lack of rain (the drought) and the wind that destroyed the crop. This geography described by the author is seems uninhabitable. It means to make the place seem unlivable to the reader. Since geography in any novel is a major factor in the novel’s setting and beginning development of the story. Foster then asks you, the reader, to see how the “geography can also define or even develop a character” or how it affects a character. Rows of corn that span all of Oklahoma could symbolize the Oklahoma people. The Great Depression first brings a time of hardship and a lack of rain. Then the wind destroys the crop that