Poverty Lit: “Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. … I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready.”

 

It’s the 75th anniversary of Grapes of Wrath. Grapes Of Wrath’ Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless  on NPR talks about the timeless depiction of poverty and the American reactions to the book.

 

This feels particularly true still…

“Part of the shock, initially, was resistance to believing that there was that kind of poverty in America,” she says. “Other people thought that Steinbeck was a communist, and they didn’t like the book because they thought that that collective action that the book is moving towards — because it really is moving from ‘I’ to ‘we’ — was threatening to, sort of, American individualism.”

 

Tom Joad’s speech in the film gets me every time.

“I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark,” Tom says. “I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. … I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build — why, I’ll be there.”

 

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2 thoughts on “Poverty Lit: “Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. … I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready.”

  1. Whatever happened to the thousands raised for “Jenn”. Remember her? Where did alllllllll of that money go? “Jenn” is quite busy posting on other websites, and oddly, there is no mention of her “poverty”. hmmmm.

    1. Are you wondering how fundraisers work? The money raised goes to the recipient for whatever they need it for. It’s awesome that we were able to do so much for Jenn and her family 🙂

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