'Was ever a book written under greater difficulty?': on the parallels between Frank Hardy's Power Without Glory and John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

Danica Cerce


At first glance, Frank Hardy seems to have had very little in common with John Steinbeck, yet a close examination of both writers' personal and literary life reveals a number of parallels. Just as Hardy denounced economic and social injustice and remained an artist with a refined sense for human rights and freedom, so did Steinbeck engage himself in the fight for egalitarian society. Although they are both best known for their proletarian narratives with social necessity and documentary integrity, they did not remain limited only within modes and methods of this literary tradition, but moved into a complex modern structure. The first part of my essay aims to shed light on the affinities between the two writers in terms of writing style, narrative technique, and subject matter; the second part focuses on the parallels between their central works, Power without Glory and The Grapes of Wrath.


Frank Hardy; John Steinbeck; social realism; parallels

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