A sense of overwhelming sentimentality pervades the book, in the literary sense, an appeal to the reader's emotions and feelings over rationality.
But industrialists and right-wing politicians declared The Grapes of Wrath a revolutionary call to arms.
They feared the novel would cause unrest and drive even more of the unemployed poor out west.
The Grapes of Wrath means a lot of different things to different people.
As Robert Demott explains in his introduction to the 2006 edition, the novel is ''part naturalistic epic, part labor testament, part family chronicle, part partisan journalism, part environmental jeremiad, part captivity narrative, part road novel, part transcendental gospel.'' Critics hail The Grapes of Wrath on par with Faulkner and Hemingway, a classic worthy of the title of The Great American Novel.