In Dubious Battle John Steinbeck wrote about the plight of ordinary people. His critiques explaining their woes frightened the establishment. During his lifetime, he was identified with radical causes and called a commie. After his death in 1968, John Steinbeck’s name became more and more respectable. Today there is a major museum in Salinas dedicated to his work and memory.
You will now write your final paper. It is worth 50 points. No late papers are acceptable and the effort is typed-double spaced. The questions below are to be integrated into an essay style paper:
Describe the conditions that led people like Jim Nolan to join the party. What were the alternatives?
Why has it been historically so difficult for farm workers to organize?
How did the party and the employers exploit the workers? What does this reveal about Steinbeck’s position in the struggle?
What is the battle in the book and do you think it is dubious? Have conditions changed in the realm of employer-labor relations since In Dubious Battle? Explain.
The paper is due April 30. There is bonus of ten points for anyone wishing to tackle one of the questions discussed in conjunction with The Grapes of Wrath. That effort is due also on April 30.