Water Law

| | Comments (0)


There are several short segments of text in David Cassuto's Turning Wine into Water: Water as Privileged Signifier in The Grapes of Wrath, that caught my eye.

In the print out from EBSCOhost, on page 68 it states "The Plains were classed upon to supply grain for the international ward effort in 1914 and to feed a hungry nation whose population continued to multiply exponentially"...It goes on to talk about how the farmers diligent work required large amounts of water that were not readily available at the time, in those areas, and farmers had to declare bankruptcy - yet neither they, nor the government gave up on the idea of the garden. They held to the idea and tried as hard as they could to be successful. Two things caught my eye in these few lines. One was the idea that the government encouraged farmers at the time to use their land to help the population of America. And now, the government pays farmers to NOT farm the lands they have...It is interesting to see how things change. It also made me think of hope and success, which I feel is that Steinbeck is really trying to express in The Grapes of Wrath.

On page 69 it states "The class stratification depicted in The Grapes of Wrath arose from corporate control over the region's most precious resource. However, the region's aridity made water an absent signifier. Both in the novel and in the desert itself, waters conspicuous absence is what makes it so powerful"...when I read this, I almost felt relieved because I had been so confused up until this point. The article seems to make so many references to water in The Grapes of Wrath and it was something I had not picked up on at all as I read it. I was confused as to how I could have missed such an important element in the work of literature, and then I got it. Maybe I missed it because it really was not there as much as Cassuto makes it seem. In these sentences, it seems to me that water was a hidden theme. I guess that makes sense as to how it could be powerful - it controls aspects of life without being present...

Blogs From Other Students...

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.