The Grapes of Wrath Covers: A Short History
The Grapes of Wrath is one of those novels that has been published so many times, in so many varying versions, that the cover art is almost as fascinating as the story itself.
I always find it interesting to look back at the cover designs of classic novels. So here goes, with my comments below each cover.
Despite the cartoonish look, I like this cover. That’s why I chose it as the featured cover for my “Currently Reading” box in the sidebar. It has a “dirty” feel that represents that Dust Bowl era.
Kind of abstract. I’m not really a fan of this cover. I’m assuming that’s Tom Joad, probably after he gets out of prison early in the novel because of the nicer clothes he appears to have on. Nonetheless, a bit of a boring cover.
Not bad. Just not much happening here, though. A drawing of the Joad’s car. This one’s just middle of the road, pun intended.
Again, another cover I don’t like. Too cartoonish, and I don’t think it speaks to the dire situation the Joads were in, like some of the other images. They could just as easily been moving down “the street.”
What is with the repeated cartoonish covers? That said, I like this one. It gives a better feel for the immensity of the Dust Bowl migration. Many families forced to move in the harsh summer heat.
I’m not sure who that dude is, but I really like this cover. This novel doesn’t appear to be a movie tie-in, so I don’t believe that’s an actor…or is it Henry Fonda from the movie? Help me out here. Anyway, that grizzled, weather worn look on his face gives a great sense of the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath.
You wonder if Steinbeck ever thought his novel could be interpreted in so many different ways? And these covers are really just the tip of the iceberg. So many more out there.
Any personal favorites? Should I have featured another one? Do you care? Do share.