Writer John Steinbeck and director John Ford had very different visions of The Grapes of Wrath. Ask students to watch the film after having read the book and compare the two versions of the story, especially the altered ending. Ask why Ford may have wished to change the story in the way that he did. You might encourage them to research this topic, as there are many easily accessible works that discuss its significance.
Many of Steinbeck's fictional works focus on outsiders at odds with the local community. Throughout his career, Steinbeck was fascinated by the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Discuss the themes and ethics underlying the Arthurian myths, focusing on Arthur's desire to unify a kingdom in conflict with itself. Examine some of the rules these tales propose for running society. Connect this discussion to The Grapes of Wrath.
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