What does the phrase "the grapes of wrath" mean?

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Hi

What does the phrase "the grapes of wrath" mean? I found the following answer after googling. But I don't get it. I have watched the film starring Henry Fonda. Could you please put in some general words in the context of the movie so that I can understand it. Many thanks.


The grapes of wrath are referenced in the Book of Revelation 14:19:

And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

This is one of the Bible's hairier passages. You don't gather grapes with a sickle, you don't throw the whole vine into a winepress, and why does God have a winepress anyway?

The phrase is usually invoked to refer to a type of anger that hangs around, and stays, and gets stronger - the way that wine ferments and becomes more potent. That is probably the idea in The Battle Hymn of the Republic (which is where this wording first occurs), and almost certainly the sense in the John Steinbeck novel (which is where most people first meet the phrase).
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Hi,

Have a look here.

http://www.shmoop.com/grapes-of-wrath/title.html

Then ask again, if you need more help.

Clive
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Hi Clive

The link you provided was helpful. In the context of the novel/film the greedy and selfish people who profit huge sums of money at the expense of suffering of other poor people are simply eating "the grapes of wrath". It's a kind juxtaposition of two contrasting ideas. The "grapes" is a healthy fruit and full of nourishment. So, to the greedy people their money is "grapes" but in reality by consuming such grapes they would simply invoke the wrath (of God).

Do I make sense? Please let me know. Thank you.
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Hi,

I see it more that the pressures of the Dust Bowl and of the Great Depression and of their proor treatment by others are all 'squeezing' the migrants, in the same way that a wine-press squeezes grapes.

Clive
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Thank you, Clive.

I'm extremely sorry but I don't get it. Once the grapes has been pressed in the wine-press then we have juice. What does "grapes" stand for? Generally, I would think "grapes" stands for prosperity, health, wealth, etc. Isn't it a kind of juxtaposition or oxymoron kind of thing to use "grapes" and "wrath" alongside? Please guide me on this. Thanks a lot.
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Hi,

I'm extremely sorry but I don't get it. Once the grapes has been pressed in the wine-press then we have juice. What does "grapes" stand for? Generally, I would think "grapes" stands for prosperity, health, wealth, etc. Isn't it a kind of juxtaposition or oxymoron kind of thing to use "grapes" and "wrath" alongside?

Well, it's a striking phrase, isn't it? It seems to have caught people's imagination.

I really don't have any other opinions to offer. It's the kind of thing that each reader brings his own subjective interpretation to.

People write PhD dissertations on such literary questions as this.Emotion: wink

Clive
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Wiki has an explanation of the title of Steinbeck's novel, which came from the Battle Hymn of the Republic (a US Civil war march), which came from the Bible, book of Revelations; the verse you have quoted.

You cannot read Revelations literally; it is all metaphor, allegory and symbology.

The main theme is the acopalypse, the end of the Earth, when God returns, divides mankind into evil and good and exacts punishment for the sinful.

My interpretation of the verse is this:

He is an angry God who harvests and consumes the wicked as a winepress destroys grapes. The "vine of the earth" represents the evildoers which will be gathered together (the angel's sickle) and punished in God's wrath. Wine is symbolic of blood in the Christian sacrament.

Here is a different translation of the scripture (with more context):

15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”
19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.

20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
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Many, many thanks, Clive, AlpheccaEmotion: starEmotion: star.

I think now I understand it better. The "grapes" are the evildoers who are destined to suffer the "wrath" of God. If I still have the interpretation quite wrong then please excuse me.

"the grapes of wrath" - "of" is a preposition here but I couldn't find any sense of it which fits here. Would you please help me?

of (prep):

Thanks.

 
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Help, please.
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