Another great example of this can be seen in chapter twenty-three. In this chapter the migrants are looking jobs but aside from that they partake in various leisure activities. Some of these activities include: telling jokes, stories, going to the cinema, and drinking to name a few. In the evenings, some migrants will play musical instruments; as the music goes on, some migrants dance to the music.
In the following chapter, chapter twenty-four, Steinbeck describes how the Joad family partake in these activities:
Near the dance floor he [Al] saw a pretty blond girl sitting in front of a tent. He sidled near and threw open his coat to show his shirt.
“Gonna dance tonight?” he asked.
The girl looked away and did not answer.
“Can’t a fella pass a word with you? How ’bout you an’ me dancin’?” And he said nonchalantly, “I can waltz.”
The girl raised her eyes shyly, and she said, “That ain’t nothin’-anybody can waltz.”
“Not like me,” said Al. The music surged, and he tapped one foot in time. “Come on,” he said.
A very fat woman poked her head out of the tent and scowled at him. “You git along,” she said fiercely. “This here girl’s spoke for. She’s a-gonna be married, an’ her man’s a-comin’ for her.”
Al, Tom’s younger brother, wants to dance with a girl but it turns out that this girl is going to be married soon. Although this is a humoristic scene, it still shows how the Joad family partake in leisure activities and this was mentioned in the previous chapter; but, this time it was from the Joad family’s prospective. The main purpose of these journal-like historical entries is give the reader an overview of that general background information and then reflect that information from the main character’s prospective, in this case the Joad family. The use of this technique really sets this novel apart from the rest because Stinebeck was able to really emphasize the historical facts using this technique, and again it adds power to the theme of this narrative.
After considering many of the narrative techniques used throughout the novel, it is easy to conclude that Steinbeck has a very unique writing style in this novel. This is a very poignant and heartbreaking novel and Steinbeck adds power to this by his consistent use of metaphors, bold imagery, and journal-like historical entries. This allows the reader to really feel what the characters are going though. He obviously has taken a lot of time to describe everything in a great amount of detail, which really get the reader’s attention and gets the reader to really focus in on the action. His historical entries are just magnificent because they make the novel very realistic. It’s no wonder Steinbeck won a Nobel Prize for realistic and imaginative writings.