Author John Steinbeck once said, “The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”
But I wonder. Every word picture a writer transcribes to the world is making a difference. The imagination of the writer comes to life in the work he produces. Steinbeck wrote the legendary, “Grapes of Wrath” in 1938. One of the greatest masterpieces in literature history, The Grapes of Wrath revealed the dark days of the Great Depression.
A historical piece with compelling emotions dug deep from the well of a hungry soul, this Steinbeck classic produced a Hollywood movie starring a young Henry Fonda as Tom Joad.
In this inspirational message, Fonda delivers his passionate “I’ll be there” speech.
“I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be ever’where – wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. And when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise, and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.”
With gripping emotion, this incredible speech catapulted the story’s heart-wrenching craving for righteousness, hope, and dignity.
It goes on. It lives in the heart of every human spirit. The strong will of survival in the hardest of times, people hang on to hope. Steinbeck sent a strong message during those days as illustrated in these words from his book, “in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
This remarkable story depicted the plight of the poor during the great dust bowl. Despite this, it was censored and criticized by many in those days.
This is the works of a writer.
His words can tell a story so gripping; he may be misunderstood, criticized, or publicly acclaimed. Writers do make a difference. They believe in their work and press on diligently.
These are the writers who inspire others.
- No Wrath, but Some Discontent, When Nobel Prize Was Awarded to Steinbeck (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- John Steinbeck Is Still Relevant Today (new102.cbslocal.com)