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Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

Book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Artist: Angela Babbitt

Artist’s Statement: This piece, based on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, was created by Angela Babbit who uses her art as a means of environmental education. The 1930s drought was magnified by agricultural practices. With advances in soil conversation such as crop rotation and no-till agriculture, the Dust Bowl days have not returned. However, the drought of 2012 is seen by many biol-ogists as a direct result of our current misguided use of natural resources and as a message to the world: if you wish to persist, you must find a new way.

In this snapshot of the book, Tom Joad is on his way home from prison. Moments earlier, a truck careened toward a land turtle and hit it, flipping it over and spattering the air with chalky dust. Joad’s new coat and yellow shoes are tucked like a bundle under his arm, and his toes press into the grit of the road. The turtle carries a wild oat, which will soon be released when it rights itself. Perhaps the oat will sprout where it landed when the drought breaks.

Steinbeck could not have predicted that the rich symbolism in the tenacious determination of the turtle would apply to the book itself, which has persist-ed despite those who have banned it.

Artist: Angela Babbit

Artist’s Statement: This piece, based on John Sreinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, was created by Angela Babbit who uses her art as a means of environmental education. The 1930s drought was magnified by agricultural practices. With advances in soil conversation such as crop rotation and no-till agriculture, the Dust Bowl days have not returned. However, the drought of 2012 is seen by many biol-ogists as a direct result of our current misguided use of natural resources and as a message to the world: if you wish to persist, you must find a new way.

In this snapshot of the book, Tom Joad is on his way home from prison. Moments earlier, a truck careened toward a land turtle and hit it, flipping it over and spattering the air with chalky dust. Joad’s new coat and yellow shoes are tucked like a bundle under his arm, and his toes press into the grit of the road. The turtle carries a wild oat, which will soon be released when it rights itself. Perhaps the oat will sprout where it landed when the drought breaks.

Steinbeck could not have predicted that the rich symbolism in the tenacious determination of the turtle would apply to the book itself, which has persist-ed despite those who have banned it.

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