The book my class is currently reading is The Grapes of Wrath. Usually, by now I would have already written several blog posts about this book, attempts to find some deep meaning in it and connect it to my life. But honestly, I’ve tried to avoid writing about it. Because I can’t.
It’s not the book; it’s me. Since the beginning of my high school career, I had been able to proudly say that I had read every single page of every book assigned to me, including Great Expectations (that thing was huge). I even ended up liking them all, even A Tale of Two Cities (and that’s saying something because it was not the easiest read). I did it. I found a way to enjoy them all but I honestly cannot handle The Grapes of Wrath.
I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine book. It’s just that the way the characters speak in the book is not familiar to me. Half the time, when I’m reading the book, I have to go back and reread what they’re saying because the way they said it was awkward to me. This bothers me so much, I just want to skip over the dialogue. However, I can’t because that’s like half the book.
“… I got an itch that somepin’s wronger’n hell.”
“… What’s the matter’th you anyways? You gone johnrabbit on us?”
Because I cannot connect to the way the characters speak, I find it hard to connect to the characters and the book itself. The Joads feel very distant to me, even more so than Jay Gatsby, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Odysseus, larger-than-life characters I’ve read about in previously assigned books.
It actually irks me, how I cannot find a way to enjoy The Grapes of Wrath. I really wish I liked it, but I don’t. Hopefully, in the future I’ll find a chance to go back and reread this book, and possibly enjoy it more the second time around.