Study Guide

In Dubious Battle Tough-o-Meter

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(5) Tree Line

Steinbeck's feel for narrative and realistic dialogue make this book a pleasure to read, with very few hitches—except, of course, for the oppression, grinding poverty, and carnage on just about every page. Then there's Steinbeck's use of dialect, which can catch you up until you get used to all the apostrophes sprinkled everywhere.

It also helps to know a bit of background on what was going on during the time period Steinbeck was writing about. But don't worry, Shmoopers—that's exactly what we're here for.

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