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A tangled takeaway from ‘Grapes of Wrath’

It takes a lot of nonsense in letters to the editor to make me blanch — or even take notice — these days. But this recent missive had me banging my head, and I wanted to share it with you now that I’ve posted my “Grapes” review. Divonna Swan of Fresno writes:

I attended a performance of “Grapes of Wrath” at Second Space. The story takes place in 1938. People were willing to pick fruit for 5 cents a box just to feed their families, if they were lucky enough to get such a job.

My, how things have changed. Today, in Fresno County, $125,000 a year isn’t a good enough salary to keep a good government worker here. There are better offers of $195,000 per year to be found.

Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else but me?

In case you missed it, the writer was referring to the “brain drain” that Fresno County is experiencing among some of its top administrators.

But can you imagine: This is what someone takes away from a viewing of the haunting stage version of the Steinbeck play? He isn’t around anymore to respond, of course, but my guess is that Steinbeck would take a dim view of using his work’s example of race-to-the-bottom wage tactics — that five cents a box is discussed in the context of breaking unions — as a commentary on executive pay.

Responses to "A tangled takeaway from ‘Grapes of Wrath’"

Stephen says:

Grapes of Wrath takes place in 1938. Can you even BELIEVE that women can’t show breastfeeding on facebook when Rose of Sharon could just openly feed some dude in public?!?

And obviously in 1938 we were willing to give our very breast milk to homeless people, when nowadays all we do is take their belongings and destroy their camps.

Just isn’t 1938 no more….

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