Rhetorical Strategies & Devices in The Grapes of Wrath

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine the use of rhetorical strategies by John Steinbeck in ''The Grapes of Wrath'', a novel about surviving the Great Depression.


In perhaps the most stalker-friendly song of all time, the Police sing, ''Every breath you take - Every move you make - Every bond you break - Every step you take - I'll be watching you.'' The repetition of the first word 'every' in each phrase emphasizes the point that he will be everywhere she goes. This is an example of a rhetorical strategy. Rhetorical strategies are devices used by writers to communicate ideas or emotions to the reader more effectively. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a novel about a family in Oklahoma that loses everything and finds themselves with no choice but to try to find a new life in California. Unfortunately, things aren't any better there. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck uses rhetorical devices to describe the intense emotions and overwhelming obstacles this family faces. Let's examine some rhetorical devices from this novel.

Rhetorical Devices

The following is a list of rhetorical devices that are used in this novel:

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