My book group read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for our January meeting. The story is compelling, particularly when thinking about how people experience situations not of their making. I last read it in high school (thank you Mr Lowe for introducing me to so many wonderful books by American authors), my experience was different so many years later. This time I saw the confluence of economics, farming practices, politics and greed.
Then my Literary Society read The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan for our April meeting. It is non fiction, providing stories of some who survived the Dust Bowl as well as scientific and policy information about those times. I felt gritty after reading it. And more than a little disappointed about how misguided and self centered people can be.
This week, my book group watched The Grapes of Wrath in all of it’s black and white glory. What a film! And I started thinking about refugees and their journeys. The power of the Joad family as they attempt to move forward despite all obstacles is so very inspiring. The treatment they received along their journey was so telling.
And today’s Bible Study was about Ruth. She also was a refuge due to economic factors of her day. Ruth honored her family as she tried to find food and shelter. Her story ends better than some of the above tales but she took many risks to get to that point.
For a more contemporary take on this question, here is The Boss. He might dispute this but I consider him to be quite a poet and social commentator.
I am not quite sure where this is all going. However, the themes are striking and I share them with you so we can ponder together.