The Grapes of Wrath

Life of Family in a Story The Grapes of Wrath

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Grapes of Wrath is a story of family named Joad’s written by John Steinbeck. In the book, John Steinbeck mention the struggles faced by Joad’s family by travelling from their hometown Sallisaw, Oklahoma to California for finding a better life. They had a family of five, grandparents, parents and son. Author mentioned that they packed everything they needed in a truck and started travelled don’t knowing what they will encounter via route. The story line is created from the point of view happened in 1930’s.

They started their journey because during 1930 dust bowl happened. The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms which damaged the land and destroyed fertility of agriculture field in American and Canadian prairies. It also damaged Sallisaw. Farmers over there don’t have money, so they borrowed money from banks and putted their lands as a guarantee. As Dust Bowl happened, land became useless and farmers don’t have money to repay it back to banks. Banks took there land instead of money. Joad family also one of the farmers who took money from bank and putted their land as a guarantee. As Dusk Bowl hits Sallisaw, they became helpless as they can’t grow anything on land. And as they have loan on their head, bank took their land and occupied. As they have no choice, they went to tom uncle’s place and then started moving to California.

They choose California because California is a fertile land and they thought they might find jobs over there. As they started moving to California, on there first stop they find Wilson’s family whose car is broke down. As Wilson’s family saw that grandpa is ill, they offered Joad family a tent. But after some time, grandpa got more sick and died. Instead of tent, Joad family helped Wilson to fix their car and decided to go on journey together. As the time went, grandma also started feeling sick because of grandpa’s dead. As both families reach the desert bordering California, Wilson’s wife fell sick and Joad family has to moved forward leaving Wilson’s family back. As they started moving forward, Grandma’s health became crucial. Halfway through the desert, grandma died. But Joad’s wife didn’t tell anyone, as she thought that telling in the middle of the desert will not good and she kept it from everyone. Once they travelled desert, Joad’s wife told everyone that Grandma died.

As they reach the end of desert. They buried grandma and went to look for a shelter. After some time, they found a camp. As Tom went to talk to man named Floyd Knowles, he sawed a businessman walking with a policeman to talk about job. When Floyd asked for written paper, policeman made him a criminal. As he went to arrest Floyd, Jim Casy, leader who fights for low wages, saved Floyd and pushed Policeman. After Cop came to consciousness, he arrested Casy and Joad family moved from that place to avoid any difficulties. After some time, they reached a government camp in Weedpatch. In this camp, there are certain people who formed their community to run that place. After spending some days, Joad’s didn’t find any job. After going somewhat farther, they found a place named Tulare. Where they found job in pick peached farm. But wages over there were too low. One day Tom saw the policemen which came up to him before, and somebody shouted Casy is dead and policeman killed him. He attacked policeman and in process his nose is broken, and he became wanted.

Tom escapes from farm and next morning whole family moved out of that place. After some time, they got job in cotton farm, but they must share their work with family called Wainrights. As Tom is wanted, he went to hide in a cave and his mother feed him daily by going to cave. After some time, Tom started to fight back against landowners because they are paying less to people.

As people in California increased, government started to remove migrants. Because people are not getting enough money to feed themselves one time per day also. As people started to claim residency of California, government named them Okies. Called to people who were from northern and southern Plaines.

As stock market crash in 1929, Americans were hugely affected. The most affected people were landowners and farmers. Because they don’t have a livelihood. As banks have the land papers, they don’t want to wait for economy to grow back. They took away all the land from farmers and landowners and took charge. As farmer already grow plants before this, banks cultivated whole farms and took their crops. As the farmer families don’t have much knowledge, they can’t find employment elsewhere. Banks hired farmers who lost their land and made them work on there on field for low wages. As farmers don’t have any choices they worked for low wages.

From my opinion, from this book I can say that the social and economic problems during thirties were worst. As we saw that people lose their lands but there is nobody to help them. Even government can’t help them. Banks were the most superior at that time I can say that, as they took all the lands during Dust Bowl and market crash. And they even forced farmers to work in low wages. New Deal became very useful to the people as president Roosevelt help all the farmers. As soon as he became president, he proposed New Deal and put banks on strike. He encourages people to deposit funds in bank and stop spending. He tried to stop emergency and help to increase stock market and end great depression. From new deal he also wants to create more jobs with proper wages and help people.

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Summary Of a Summary Of The Grapes Of Wrath

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinback, is about a boy who lived during the agricultural depression. The protagonist of the story is Tom Joad, a boy who lived in Oklahoma with his family as farmers. His family, the Toads, consisted of his Grandpa, Granma, Dad (Pa), Mom (Ma), uncle, and numerous other siblings. While their past was great as they made a lot of money due to World War I and a high demand of crop, their present left a lot to be desired. With a lot of debt and many loans on their shoulders due to the lack of demand in crop, they became a very poor family as did all the other farmers in Oklahoma. As a result local banks started getting scared wondering whether or not they would get their money back. On top of all this, what scared the banks even more was that the stock market crashed. Even nature seemed not to be on their side, as a drought occurred which dried out all the fertile soil and turned it into dust. All the ground water had also evaporated leaving the soil very dry. This is why the time period was known as the “Dust Bowl”. With all of these problems, people decided to go to a better place were there would be lots of jobs. Like everyone else, the Joad family made a decision to go to California and seek a better life. They sold all their possessions for whatever they could get and started their journey.

The journey was long and tiring, and as a result Tom’s grandparents both died. After a long time, they finally arrived at the San Joaquin Valley. The family started working right when they arrived and they barely made enough to survive. The jobs weren’t yearly jobs, but instead season-based jobs. Their job was to harvest certain crops for the farmers in exchange for some money. During one of these seasons, one of Tom’s old preachers from church started a strike in order to achieve higher pay and better conditions for migrant workers. The preacher named Casy was killed for starting the boycott. Casy’s death deeply angered Tom, so Tom killed the policeman that hurt Casy. Afterwards, he went and hid from society to prevent going to jail. One day, his story gets out that he killed a policeman, and as a result he builds up his courage and tells his mom that he wants to be like Casy. He takes some money his mom had given him and leaves his family to fight for and help migrants. Some time after Tom left, his eldest sister, the Rose of Sharon, was ready to give birth. The baby arrived dead and this left the Rose of Sharon sad as she had big plans for him.

Around the same time they were alerted that there was a starving man who needed something to eat or drink or else he would die. The Rose of Sharon gives some of her bodies milk to the man to save him. The symbolic move brings together the story to show how this was a time of struggle and pain. It shows how none of the rich people cared, only those in poverty looked out for one another. The story was written without a conclusion to show how they continuously struggled. John Steinback wanted to convey how there was no “better time”, the period was filled with only struggles and hardships.

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A Search For Home in John Steinbeck’s Novels

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

“Get Off My Land!” And Other Tales of Searching For Home

John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of a poor farming family from Oklahoma that leaves its home during the Dust Bowl and flees to California, where its members hope to find jobs, but only find hatred. These types of stories abounded during the Dust Bowl, as some 2.5 million farmers left the Midwest, often under duress or against their will. Around half a million of these families, mostly from Oklahoma and Arkansas, travelled to California, the “Promised Land,” where they could find work – or so they believed. Instead, these families, like Steinbeck’s characters, the Joads, found that the Californian natives regarded them with hostility and resentment stemming from a fear of losing their jobs or their property. The Joads and thousands of other families like them drifted from place to place, hardening against the hatred that they face, as they searched for a place to call home (Steinbeck 282-284). This theme of struggling to find refuge is still relevant today. The civil war in Syria has forced millions of people from their homeland. They stream into nearby countries: Iraq, Turkey, Jordan. Although they are fleeing over country borders instead of state, the Syrian and “Okie” refugees both fit Steinbeck’s theme of searching for refuge; forced from their homes, they struggle to survive in an environment and among a people that face them with growing hostility.

Just as hundreds of thousands of Midwestern farmers unwillingly left their ancestral land during the Dust Bowl, nearly six million Syrians have been pushed from their homeland over the past three years by the civil war that tears their country apart (Vick 24). Steinbeck makes it clear that his characters, and the real people of the time, feel very reluctant to leave their homes, no matter how poor the land, and angry that they must. When the tenants learn that they have to leave, they grow angry. “It’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours,” they cry angrily (Steinbeck 33). Still, the all-powerful bank manages to drive them off, sometimes physically. In the same way, many native Syrians are forced out by the violence and chaos and the mounting shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities that affect Syria (Butler 44). Although they are glad to be alive, these refugees do not want to be in their current situation. “We are now in Turkey,” says one refugee. “We don’t want to be here. We want to go home, we want to fight” (Abouzeid 28). However despite the desires of both Syrian and “Okie” refugees, they cannot go home yet. Instead, both find shelter in camps set up by the government. For example, approximately eighty-three thousand Syrians have found refuge in Za’atari, one of the largest refugee camps set up in Lebanon (Vick 24). The United Nations control and run it, just as the US government created Hooverville, a camp where the Joads find refuge for some time. Both groups find discontent in their current situations, but they must bear it.

In both of these cases, the refugees are not the only ones who are upset; the locals of the land they are invading are increasingly hostile to their “invasion.” Most of the individuals in California, where many of these migrant famers fled during the dust bowl, disliked the “Okies,” some to the point of hate. As Steinbeck writes:

The owners hated them because the owners knew they were soft and the Okies strong, they were fed and the Okies hungry; and perhaps the owners had heard from their grandfathers how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed. And the shopkeepers hated them because they had no money to spend … The town men, little bankers, hated Okies because there was nothing to gain from them … And the laboring people hated Okies because a hungry man must work, and if he must work, if he has to work, the wage payer automatically gives him less for his work; and then no one can get more. (Steinbeck 233)

This tension and hostility appears in almost every interaction between the natives and these new “Okies.” This theme of clash between new and foreign is not confined to Steinbeck’s writing, and it appears in the current Syrian refugee crisis. The burden of millions of refugees has mainly fallen to Middle Eastern countries with poorer infrastructure and less money than North American and European nations. This has strained everything from roads to electricity grids to water supplies. Social tensions have grown noticeably as well over the past few years, exacerbated by inflation and competition for jobs that Syrian refugees are often willing to do for less money. “Jordanians and people in much of the Middle East are very welcoming and very accommodating to the idea of refugees. In the first year or two, there were a lot of open arms and sympathy,” says Bessma Momani, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. “There’s a great deal of resentment now, a feeling of: ‘How many more people can we take before this ship breaks?’” (Petrou 30). Though the Syrian’s hosts have not yet taken up arms or employed underhanded tactics to remove their guests, as the Californians did, the same hostility that Steinbeck depicts in his novel exists in the world today.

A critic might argue that these two refugee crises differ in that the “Okies” remained in their own country, with their own people, whereas the Syrians flood into other countries. Therefore it makes sense that the people of the surrounding Middle Eastern countries are irritated with the invasion of people not of their country or culture. Although this may appear to be a valid point, looking at these two situations from a larger perspective shows that this is not very important when determining if they are similar. Steinbeck’s theme of a people searching for refuge despite the hostility presented against them remains consistent throughout both cases. These reluctant migrants face resentment from the people they seek help from. Ultimately, it is not the state or country boundaries that matter, but the humanity that is pushed aside in the face of this hostility that remains the same in both cases.

This theme that Steinbeck incorporates into his novel still holds importance today. How does one react in the face of invaders who may steal jobs? How is one supposed to survive in the face of such hostility? Steinbeck writes of these issues just as they appear today. The story of the Joads and the view of humanity that it presents are no less relevant today than they were seventy years ago. Ultimately, a search for home is a struggle that everyone must face someday, though perhaps in a more figurative sense than the Joads or the Syrian’s case. Therefore this motif of “searching for refuge” that resounded so honestly through the readers during the Dust Bowl provokes the same understanding amongst readers today, and provides a lens through which a reader can view their world. 

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Depiction Of The Great Depression in Cinderella Man And The Grapes of Wrath

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the 1930s, America faced a huge economic downfall, where millions of people ended up losing everything. During that time period, an overwhelming majority of the American people started doubting the reality and legitimacy of the American dream. Even some of the richest people lost everything and became dirt poor due to the depression. A common though flowed through the country, that the term rags to riches is reversed and became riches to rags, leading to a disbelief in the American dream. Such an idea clearly appeared in the Cinderella Man movie and the Grapes of Wrath chapter. The two sources mentioned, saw and felt everything that the economic depression had to offer. People began to interpret the dream in various forms. For some the American dream became just a regular fantasy, for others the idea of the American dream became the light in the end of the tunnel. Both the Cinderella Man and the Grapes of Wrath plots demonstrate difficulties during the great depression that the people faced but each story line depicts a ton of an absolutely unique series of events and alternations that the characters had to encounter.

In Cinderella Man and in The Grapes of Wrath, main characters face similar drastic inconveniences regarding the reality of the American dream and other equally important situations. As people attempted to clench on to the rags to riches idea during the great depression, continues trend of constant losses followed every U.S. inhabitant. After the economic crisis arrived, people started losing houses in an unimaginable pace, “an entire family with two kids had to migrate to a small basement room with extremely cheap living conditions”. (Ron Howard) Thereafter, losing a huge house with prosperous lifestyle and transitioning to a pathetically cheap location, is one of the most severe life changing event in a person’s lifetime. The reality struck in an accelerated manner, when Jim realized that an insufficient money was remaining to support his kids. Also, during the finical misfortunes Americans lost housing capital due to other people, “The iron guard bit into the house-corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the little house from its foundation so that it fell.”(Steinbeck 38-39) Therefore, the poor farmer family lost the house, as a result of fellow Americans trying to keep their jobs. The destruction of property really played a role in the views of the tenant. The reverse term riches to rags became clearly visible to the poor man, due to the fact that a transition from having a house to having nothing occurred, Both the farmer and the famous boxer lost everything and considered the American dream to be just a fantasy at that horrifying moment. Overall losing a house and all the positions is terrifying but maintaining and adopting new values during hardships is crucial as well.

The characters developed some very unique values that usually tend to be hidden. A great deal of persistence was demonstrated by Jim, when the financial situation became unbearable, “After being a glorious boxer, Jim had to go work at the docks with a broken arm for an insufficient salary.”(Ron Howard) Thus, Jim attempted to beat all odds and feed his family and try to restore the foundation for his shaken up American dream. The occupation at the docks proved an extremely difficult challenge due to fractures in Jim’s right arm, and a lot of work was done by an untrained left. Even thought, the world appeared lightless, the boxer remained true to his family and ideals because that was literally almost all that was left after the economic depression. Furthermore, a lack of giving up was shown by the tenant, “Maybe we got to fight to keep our land like Pa and Grandpa did.”(Steinbeck 34) As a result, the farmer is prepared to pursue his specified values and keep the land, in his case the American dream away from the bank. The monster owned the land but the tenant considered the spot to be home because his relatives occupied the land even before his own family. The two characters chare the urge to protect the things that are valuable to them and to also preserve their American dream in the face if their families. Bothe the movie and the book share many unique aspects, but contrasting elements are also present between the two.

The financial position of the characters in Cinderella Man and The Grapes of Wrath differ significantly in the beginning and the end of the sources. In the first few moments of the two sources the money and capital of the farmer and Jim appear to be polar opposites. The start of the movie reveals the kind of money Braddock has, “Jim comes to a huge house in a nice three piece suit and has good food and expansive alcohol for dinner.”(Ron Howard) Therefore, as a boxer that has seen no knock outs, Jim earns a very good contract salary. The Braddock’s family feel financially stable in the American society and idealistically feel of the American dream completion. Furthermore, the farmer at the start of the chapter processed only a small house and a bug plot of unhealthy land, “Sure, cried the tenant men but it’s our land. We measure it and broke it up.”(Steinbeck 33) Thus, the farmers refused to give up the land to the bank because the plots were established and got taken care by the farmers and their families. The land is everything to the tenant men due to the fact that a lot of work and dedication was placed in the cultivation process. The American dream for the poor farmers lies within the soils of the property that they own. Overall the begging of the two sources differ a lot but the ending also provides a few major differences for the viewer.

The resulting scenes of the movie and the book demonstrate a huge variation. Towards the end of the movie Jim establishes the lost confidence, “the boxer comes back with a big win and earns $250 to push himself of the ground.”(Ron Howard) As a result, Jim gets a sufficient amount of money to pay his debts and begin building his American dream from the start. Jim never lost confidence in the government and his own ability, and with the family Jim built everything back. In the same time the farmer stares after the tool of destruction, “And all of them stared after the tractor.”(Steinbeck 39) This explains that the farmer lost the property and the legitimacy of the American dream to the bank. The moment the farmer fell into the clenches of anger and depression the losses started to occur. The farmer looks in horror as his house and life crumbles and falls right before his eyes, and the urge to fight and negotiate disappears with his house.

In the midst of the great depression many themes of the American dream got lost but also some were found. Characters from both sources experience loss, economic instability and change in inner self, but also the characters saw many different living conditions and various goals to be achieved. The application of the reality of the American dream was put to the test hundreds of times. Many Americans gave up and lost everything, however a lot also kept going and built themselves back up. Overall instances of hardships happen daily but the humans are intelligent creature, which learn to fight and overcame obstacles and pursue their dreams. All people share desires and urges to succeed, however it is up to the people to find a proper way to achieve certain goals.

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The Theme of Finding Meaning Through Adversity in Black Boy by Richard Wright and the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

America: It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn’s Early Light

“Anything seemed possible, likely, feasible, because I wanted everything to be possible” (Wright 72). Richard, the protagonist in Richard Wright’s Black Boy, always thinks optimistically. Likewise, an air of faith and hope drives John Steinbeck’s Joad family through their problems on the way to California in his renowned novel titled The Grapes of Wrath. Both the Wrights and the Joads endeavor to find meaning through adversity while struggling to find economic stability, surviving, and searching for hope in a hopeless situation.

In both books, difficulty arises when attempting to obtain a consistent income. Because of this extended length of time without money, poverty devastates many lives. To temporarily escape the monster of destitution, Richard “decided to try to sell [his] dog Betsy and buy some food” (Wright 69). The fact that he was willing to sell “a man’s best friend” for only a dollar shows his desperation for cash. When the dog dies only a week later, Richard’s mother, unhappy that her son had passed up an opportunity to gain some money, reminds him, “You could have had a dollar. But you can’t eat a dead dog, can you?” (Wright 71). Richard is notorious among his friends for his inability to keep a job, as his friend Griggs tells him, “You’ve been trying to hold a job all summer, and you can’t” (Wright 183). Similarly, poverty affects the Joads, along with all migrants journeying west. They too are anxious, but any job opportunity has “five pairs of arms extended” (Steinbeck 238). The poverty found in California occurs simply because few jobs exist for the newcomers, “for wages went down and prices went up. The great owners were glad and they sent out more handbills” (Steinbeck 283). Because the wealthy farmers attract more potential workers than they can employ, the migrants face the possibilities of reduced wages or no work at all. In desperation, they turn to religion, as they “pray God some day kind people won’t all be poor. Pray God some day a kid can eat” (Steinbeck 239). In both the works of Steinbeck and Wright, characters are willing to take drastic measures to ensure the gain of land and money. Through the struggle required to meet these goals, they learn to be diligent workers that depend on each other in times of adversity.

The economic quest for jobs plays a key role in The Grapes of Wrath and Black Boy. As a young man Richard constantly searches for work, “[inquiring] among the students about jobs” (White 145). Along with food supply, work is one of the most common uncertainties in Richard’s life. Granny had already thrown out hints that it was time for me to be on my own. But what had I learned so far that would help me to make a living? Nothing” (Wright 164). Richard’s grandma slowly pushes him out of the house; however, he still does not grasp the concept of living as a black man in the south. Even when he obtains work, the southern whites place him in lose-lose situations: “If I had said: No, sir, Mr. Pease, I never called you Pease, I would by inference have been calling Reynolds a liar; and if I had said: Yes, sir, Mr. Pease, I called you Pease, I would have been pleading guilty to the worst insult that a Negro can offer…” (Wright 189). Likewise, the Joads focus solely on employment upon arriving in California because the family needs food. Luckily, Tom Joad meets people in a government camp the first morning, and they invite him to work with them: “We’re layin’ some pipe. ‘F you want to walk over with us, maybe we could get you on” (Steinbeck 291). When the Joads first arrive in California, they have “’Bout forty dollars” (Steinbeck 230). For this reason, they begin searching for work as soon as possible to replenish their funds. However, “the laboring people hated Okies because a hungry man must work, and if he must work…the wage payer automatically gives him less…and then no one can get more” (Steinbeck 233). The natives fear the migrants because they work for less money, as they are determined to buy food. Richard and the Joad family are like planets orbiting around the sun of job opportunities. Their unending search for work rewards them with vigilance, observance, and the poise to snatch a job at a moment’s notice.

Both Steinbeck and Wright place their characters in a harsh environment that requires grit and determination to survive. The Joads and the Wrights endure heartbreaking deaths and prolonged illnesses along their journeys. During a prayer, Richard hears his grandma state that her “poor old husband lies sick this beautiful morning” (Wright 138). Richard “[is] mortally afraid” of his grandfather (Wright 43), but he respectfully retracts his hostility as Grandpa mumbles his final words: “Rejoice, for God has picked out my s-s-e…in-in h-heaven…” (Wright 141). Also, Richard is forced to work harder for the family when his mother succumbs to a series of paralyzing strokes. This sudden gain of responsibility places Richard in a difficult predicament, which he describes as being “suddenly thrown emotionally upon my own” (Wright 86). Likewise, the Joads struggle through turmoil, as they lose two family members while fleeing from the ruins of their Oklahoma farm. Granpa Joad, a lively spirit, becomes sick soon after leaving his home. Casy believes that Granpa “died the minute [they] took ‘im off the place” because leaving detaches him from his land (Steinbeck 146). Soon, a “good, quick stroke” seizes his soul, and the Joads face the rest of the journey without the honorary head of the family (Steinbeck 138). Granma cannot handle the news of her husband’s passing, and she falls into a state of shock. She remains bedridden for the rest of the trip, and Mama reveals that “Granma’s dead” upon reaching California (Steinbeck 228). These two families avoid desperation, even when they seem to fall apart. Although the losses in these books are tragic, the mourning families learn to persevere.

Because poverty triggers frustration and anger within people, the characters in both Black Boy and The Grapes of Wrath fight to survive. In fact, Richard engages in combat to be accepted by his classmates at each school he attends. Any boy that bumped into him he “stood [his] ground” and “shoved him away violently” (Wright 91). While this is an ordinary schoolyard brawl, people are innocently killed in other situations. Richard’s Uncle Hoskins is “killed by whites who had long coveted his flourishing liquor business” (Wright 54). Correspondingly, the Joads are forced to deal with murder. Tom Joad keeps his record clean, as he cannot afford to return to prison: “I killed a guy. Seven years [in prison]. I’m sprung in four for keepin’ my nose clean” (Steinbeck 13). However, watching his friend Casy as “the heavy club crashed into the side of his head with a dull crunch of bone” made his blood boil (Steinbeck 386). Unable to resist the urge, he avenges the preacher, as “his crushing blow found the head” of the guilty police officer (Steinbeck 386). In both the cases of the Joads and the Wrights, difficulty equals ferocity, and ferocity equals bloodshed. These moments teach to keep a level head in times of trouble and despair.

In their darkest moments, the Wrights and the Joads look for faith in every nook and cranny, even when it seems lost. Some people take advantage of this by providing them with a false sense of hope and security. For example, when Richard’s bike gets a flat tire, white men offer him a ride, and he temporarily believes that tolerant whites exist in the south. However, when he relaxes and accidentally addresses a man casually, he feels “something hard and cold smash [him] between the eyes. It was an empty whisky bottle” (Wright 180-181). Richard eventually heads to the north, where African Americans appear to lead freer lives. “There lay a deep, emotional safety in knowing that the white girl who was now leaning carelessly against me was not thinking of me, had no deep, vague, irrational fright…” (Wright 270). While segregation rarely appears in the north, Richard finds that Negroes “must restrict [themselves]—when not engaged upon some task—to the basement corridors so that they would not mingle with white nurses, doctors, or visitors” (Wright 303). The search for hope theme in Black Boy reappears in The Grapes of Wrath. When sharecroppers are kicked off their land, they travel west, and car salesmen use a multitude of lies to make a profit: “Goin’ to California? Here’s jus’ what you need. Looks shot, but they’s thousan’s of miles in her” (Steinbeck 66). In fact, most of these jalopies break down well before reaching The Golden State. When the Joads prepare for their trek westward, “some fellas come through with han’bills—orange ones. Says they need lots a people out here to work the crops” (Steinbeck 245). However, Tom learns from a young man in Hooverville that “ever’ dam’ fam’ly seen them han’bills” (Steinbeck 245). Essentially, the farmers release handbills for more workers than they could possibly pay. In this way, they cheat the migrants, and the excess of workers allows the farmers to pay less. The Joads and the Wrights, two flustered families, fall victim to the manipulations of their opponents. These tribulations help them to avoid deception in the future.

The Wright and Joad families maintain a remarkable level of optimism, even after countless mishaps and misfortunes. As a young boy, Richard amuses himself with the fascination of superstition in times of trouble: “If I had a cold and tied a worn, dirty sock about my throat before I went to bed, the cold would be gone the next morning” (Wright 72). When he departs for the north, Richard suspects that it is too good to be true, “half expecting someone to call me back and tell me that it was all a dream” (Wright 257). Although he lies to his boss to make it appear that his behavior will remain the same, he “wanted to tell him that [he] was going north precisely to change…” (Wright 256). Similarly, the Joads sustain this positive mindset, even after being informed of the lack of work in California. Tom eradicates his mother’s worries about California by saying, “Don’t roust your faith bird-high an’ you won’t do no crawlin’ with the worms” (Steinbeck 91). Even after reaching Hooverville and being told that jobs are scarce, Tom is “jus’ gay as a toad in spring rain” (Steinbeck 249). The Joad family never fails to stay optimistic, even in their most depressing moments. After Granma’s death, they kept their focus, saying that they “got to find a place to stay. [They] got to get work an’ settle down” (Steinbeck 241). Both the Joads and the Wrights endure hazardous situations and disturbing deaths. However, both remain optimistic through these trials; therefore, they have a good mentality to assist them in overcoming difficulties.

The Joads and the Wrights become tougher and find meaning through adversity. Through their economic quest, survival, and reliance on faith, they live optimistically and are strengthened through their troubles. Both families recognize the challenge to be physically, mentally, and emotionally strong. “Goddamn it, a fella got to eat” (Steinbeck 344). These words from one of the troublemakers at the California government camp should have been Richard’s motto in Black Boy. Both the Wrights and the Joads traversed a treacherous path. However, by finding meaning through their adversity, they realize that anything is possible.

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Rhetorical Analysis of Grapes of Wrath

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Transitioning from one place to another can sometimes be a hassle. For example, if you are moving houses you have to pack the moving car and may forget to pack your bed the most essential item to most. Looking at the comparison between a book and a movie is a lot like from moving place to place. For example, Ford created the movie the Grapes of Wrath he forgot to add the beginning of the book that sets up the setting and environmental visual of the book. Next, everyone interprets everything differently like Ford rhetoric perspective of the book could be very different from the author of the book John Steinbeck rhetoric perspective. Personally I believe that the movie of Grapes of Wrath movie was better than the book because of the roles it showed between men and women and setting of the Dust Bowl. But one must analysis the following parts to make a final decision: the rhetorical significance of the novel, the similarities and differences between the novel and movie, and then the decision of the better of the two. First, one must view the rhetorical significance of the novel. The book demonstrated great significant value on family values.

Family values are the typical family of mom cooking and help feed and support family, grandparents providing wise and guidance, kids providing laughter and joy for the younger generation in all, and the dad supporting the family making sure nothing happens to the family and provide safety to all. This is exactly like how Steinbeck made the Joad family. The Joad family consists of Tom Joad the supportive but trouble seeker of the family, Ma Joad the caretaker and unifier of the family, Pa Joad the tenant farmer who is determined to find work and support the family, Grandpa Joad who has a deep connection the farm and is deeply sadden when the family has to move, Grandma Joad who has ever seeking aspirations to see California in it’s beautiful state, and finally Winfield Joad who is the young of the family and Ma Joad is consistently worrying about his wellbeing and growing up on a stable farm. For example Pa Joad exclaims “It’s a free country. In California they got high wages. ” ( CH 12).

This quote shows the sense of family value in the Joad family because Pa is usual supporting and having high hopes for the wellbeing of the family. Next, Steinbeck displays the role of men and women in the book very clearly and caring. First, Steinbeck creates Ma Joad as the ultimate caretaker of the family. By creating Ma this role Steinbeck takes the interpersonal relationship view of the Dust bowl to create her as women in the 1930’s. It gives the reader the knowledge and view how women acted in the 30. Also, he showed that the women’s role was to provide food, give mental support to the family, and care for all. But the mens role was very different. Steinbeck demonstrates the men’s role in Tom Joad. Tom is always looking to find a fair price for a home and safe place to live. He is always creating mischief to fight for his rights as a farmer and find a proper farming job to support the family. He consistently shows his support of the family throughout book. Lastly the most important rhetoric significance of the book is the way Steinbeck creates the setting. Steinbeck writes in Chapter 1, “The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and the sky became pale, so the earth became pale, pink in the red country and white in the grey country. ” (CH 1). Steinbeck illustrates the exact setting of the book word for word. He visually creates the picture of the farm land with the thin crust resembling the hot dry soil of the farm fields and the pink sky creating a beautiful picture of the sunset or rise of the farm life. Although the rhetorical significance of the novel is a key to make a decision of the better of the two, it’s essential to compare and contrast the similarities of differences of the movie to the novel.

First, there are a lot of similarities that both the novel and movie share. Both the movie and novel show the interpersonal relationship Jim the preacher and Tom Joad. Like displayed in the movie Jim and Tom meet under the big oak tree right after Tom is released McAlester State Penitentiary. This scene takes place in chapter 4 in the book and early on in the movie. This really shows the theme that time changes people and their views. Like how Jim used to be a preacher at Tom’s church when he was a little boy and now doesn’t believe in the religion concept. Also, both movie and novel illustrate Tom has a guy who just got out of jail and is determined to provide for himself and soon his family and look at the world a little differently after his years in the jail. Next, both movie and book do an excellent job of representing the farmers and their families struggling in these hard times. Chapter 9 of the book and scene 13 demonstrates the struggle of the families most clearly. Most of the farmers are forced to pawn most of their items because they simply need the money and don’t have enough room to travel with them. All the farmers have no other option but to accept brokers who pay outrageously low wages because they are focusing on the support of structure of their family. Then, there are some major differences between the novel and the book. The movie begins with scence 1 when tom is walking along side of the road glazing at the farm fields and this is very different from the beginning of the book where it sets up the setting. Having Tom walk along the road in the movie I think sets up the movie. It shows the audience the setting of the and the condition of the farm. It gives the audience the view of character value placed on Tom during the movie.

Also, by having Tom walk in at the beginning of the movie shows the importance of males in the farming life. Next, the book opens with Chapter1 describing the setting of the book and giving the audience a mental picture of where the story will take place and in the movie it does not show this at all. I believe chapter is very important to add in a story line. This chapter sets up the whole book for the audience. For example this quote from the book displays some of the setting, “ In the middle of that night the wind passed and left the land quiet. The dust-filled air muffled sound more completely then fog. ” (CH 1) This really encompasses the meaning of the land and the rough damage wind and dry soil can do to the family’s living conditions. Although the similarities and differences of the novel and movie are important the most essential part is which of these provide the greater effect on people. I believe the movie is better than the book. I think this because of the visual effect of the movie. I am a visual person so the movie connected with me. The movie showed great emotions of all the people. It was very clear the attitude of Ma Joad after scene 12 when grandma dies. Ma is fed up with everything and just wants a home for the family and wants everyone to be safe and happy. Next the movie really captures the audience with the setting. The setting really connected with me because it’s the base of every story. I thought Ford did an excellent job displaying the fields and showing how the wind overtook the land. Also, I like the dusty environment and the emphasize on the cars Ford showed. He showed the value of cars a lot in their society.

The cars were like the building blocks for their life. The Joad family would have never thrived without the car taking them to each farm looking for work and sustainable housing. Next, the I’ll be there speech in the movie delivered by Tom puts the message of the movie into play ( SC 23). He states he that he needs to leave to provide his family with safety. He says he will be there in spirit where ever the family travels. Finally, I feel that in rhetoric value that the movie was better than the book because it depicts the emotions of the characters, the basic needs of the setting of the story, the value of cars during the dustbowl, and finally the spirit and passion Tom displays for his family throughout the book. In conclusion, the movie is better than the book. I decided on this claim by reviewing the rhetorical analysis of the novel, similarities and differences of the novel and movie, and the rhetorical explanation of how the movie is better than the novel.

So, why watch the movie one may ask, simply because it best describes the effects of the dust bowl on farmers and the connection of these families at these hard times. Comparing a book and movie is key to looking effects and different viewpoints of people. This analysis and show us why something is said or why there is importance on a certain part of a scene. Finally, the analysis of the novel of Grapes of Wrath and the movie display the importance of character relationship, setting, and value of items in a society.

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Characters Of Jim Casy And Tom Joad In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath follows a poor family of Oklahoma tenant farmers, the Joads, who migrate to California to pursue a better future. The novel’s protagonist, Tom Joad, is shown to be a man who likes to keep himself anchored to the present. He avoids thinking about anything that has no immediate effect upon himself or his family. But Tom’s early characterization clashes with the person he becomes by the end of the novel. Tom develops into a social activist, ready to fight for the rights of the wandering laborers in California. This change is brought about by his interactions with one of the other major characters in the story, Jim Casy. And it is largely Casy’s death that causes Tom to rise above the boundaries he had first set for himself. Tom eventually follows in Casy’s footsteps by becoming a social activist. Jim Casy’s character and death are important to understand the development of Tom Joad.

Tom Joad undergoes a significant transformation over the course of the novel. Early on the reader learns that Tom spent four years in jail for homicide. Released on parole, he hitchhikes home to his family. Tom unashamedly tells the man he rides with what he had done: “Means I killed a guy. Seven years. I’m sprung in four for keepin’ my nose clean”. Tom also meets Jim Casy, a former preacher, during his journey homewards. When his past is brought up in conversation with Casy, Tom speaks of the crime he committed very similarly to the way he had described it to the driver he hitchhiked with. “I’d do what I done — again. . . I killed a guy in a fight. We was drunk at a dance. He got a knife in me, an’ I killed him with a shovel that was layin’ there”. Tom’s lack of remorse is justified in that it was self-defense. But it is his inability to be ashamed or reflective at all that is indicative of someone who lives only in the present. His desire to avoid looking too deeply into the past or future is shown in his response to a question of Casy’s concerning the number of jobs available in California: “How’d I know? I’m jus’ puttin’ one foot in front a the other. . . This here little piece of iron an’ babbitt. See it? Ya see it? Well, that the only goddamn thing in the world I got on my mind”. Tom later breaks his parole to travel west with his family. This action also shows his disregard for any future consequences.

Jim Casy is the reverse of Tom Joad’s initial characterization. While Tom concerns himself only with the now, Casy constantly looks towards the future, often puzzling over the state of humanity and divinity. Casy’s overall thoughtfulness is illustrated well by a theological theory of his: “Maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit — the human sperit — the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of”. But his tendency for future thought is not what separates him from Tom. It is his moral character and selflessness that distinguishes him from any other person in the novel. When Tom gets into an altercation with a deputy, Casy takes the blame, telling an officer that he had “knocked out your man there”. This brief moment shows the difference between the men well. Tom, giving into a moment of passion, does not think of the consequences his possible arrest would have on his family or himself. Casy, on the other hand, realizes the gravity of the situation immediately. He understands Tom’s importance to his family: “Somebody got to take the blame. I got no kids. They’ll jus’ put me in jail, an’ I ain’t doin’ nothin’ but set aroun’”. Casy’s morality and concern for the future contrasts heavily with the early characterization of Tom Joad.

Tom Joad’s interactions with Jim Casy are vital in understanding his change as a character. Towards the beginning of the story, Tom is shown to care only for his family and the people in his immediate surroundings. But his way of thinking changes drastically by the end of the story. He sheds this day by day philosophy and gains a new sense of purpose: the betterment of the lives of the western migrants. Tom tells his mother that he’ll “be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there”.

This change was brought about by the teachings of Casy. Casy, during his time in jail, learns about the power of mobilization of popular support. With this realization, he begins to organize migrants workers for a wage protest. Tom later stumbles into Casy and his band of men, where he learns about Casy’s time in jail. “Well, one day they give us some beans that was sour. One fella started yellin’, an’ nothin’ happened. . . Then another fella yelled. . . By God! Then sompin happened! They come a-runnin’, and they give us some other stuff to eat”. After their brief conversation, the men spot flashlight beams, and two policemen approach them, recognizing Casy as the workers’ leader. Casy protests that the men “don’ know what you’re doin’. You’re helpin’ to starve kids”. In the middle of his protest, one of the policemen sinks a pick handle into Casy’s skull, killing him instantly. This moment serves as the catalyst for Tom’s change from content bystander to activist.

After Casy is attacked, Tom retaliates and kills one of the policeman. The killing of a police officer, although immoral, is still a far cry from the drunken murder that had landed him in prison four years earlier. Here, by standing up for the rights of the western migrants, he begins to fight for a cause far greater than just himself or his family. In effect, Tom is taking Casy’s place. Surely, his methods are different (he is far more confrontational and unpredictable), but he is now fighting for the same goal as Casy: equality for the suffering laborers. Tom even ascribes his change in character to Casy himself: “God, I’m talkin’ like Casy. Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes”. And when his mother asks him what he plans to do with himself, Tom replies that he will do “what Casy done”. At this point, Tom’s characterization has taken a complete 180. He is prepared to take Casy’s place and fight for better conditions, not only for his own family, but for all other migrant families in California.

In The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad is introduced as a former convict who lives by a day-to-day philosophy, concerning himself only with the wellbeing of himself and his family. Tom’s character differs heavily from another major character in the novel: Jim Casy. Casy, unlike Tom, cannot help but speculate about the future. He often thinks about the conditions of the migrant laborers and eventually leads a wage protest. Casy serves as the impetus for Tom Joad’s major transformation, from that of a somewhat selfish family man to social activist. And Casy’s final moments, in particular, are important to understand the radical changes seen in Tom. His death leads Tom to kill a police officer. This brash act of violence, possibly born out of rage, finally shows Tom stand up for something bigger than himself. In the end, Tom picks up where Casy left off, ready to lead a life of public action.

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The American Dream In The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the novel ‘Grapes of Wrath’ Steinbeck attempts to depict the hard conditions in which ranchers like the Joads needed to endure during the Dust Bowl. All through the novel, he centers around the Joad family and their adventure to California. Steinbeck had blended aims that he is attempting to express, maybe his message in this novel is the way the confiscated families were treated through the voyage from Oklahoma to California was, or it could have been how the American dream was formed by the disastrous occasions that were occurring during this time. The tale represents what the American dream is assumed to be, and yet another thought of what the American dream ought to be is being created. The American dream changes concerning time; this is the reason there will never be a substantial thought of what the American dream is. In Steinbeck’s tale, he is attempting to characterize another meaning of the American dream, for a rancher during this time it could have been, possess land with a house in which their family could live in and have enough to eat. While this may appear nothing to us, they felt like that was as well as could be expected get.

The American dream created because there where numerous individuals at specific occasions that were in hopelessness. In the event that there would of never been wretchedness in this nation, at that point the American dream would of never existed, on the off chance that everybody is rich and has all that they need, at that point they don’t generally have any goals to have or move toward becoming something throughout everyday life. Steinbeck gives an itemized depiction of how weird was the wretchedness of the individuals living during the Dust Bowl. ‘The first light came, however, no day. In the dim sky, a red sun appeared. Men and ladies clustered in their homes, and they tied tissues over their noses when they went out and wore goggles to ensure their eyes’, this is the thing that the individuals during the residue bowl suffered and figured it would leave in two or three days; however, for their misfortune, it wouldn’t.

Some portion of the improvement of the American dream is the solidarity that American families had during this time. Everybody relied upon every other’s work. Generally, the dad was the leader of the family and was accountable for carry the nourishment to their home; the mother was responsible for dealing with the house just as instructing their youngsters. Steinbeck uses the characters dialect to express the Joad’s solidarity. ‘The family turned into a unit. Dad crouched on the ground, and Uncle John next to him. Dad was the leader of the family now’. Regardless of the misfortune the family stood joined together and could pick a pioneer to continue onward.

In ‘Grapes of Wrath,’ each character it could be said had dreams of their own, similar to Rose of Sharon which had her fantasies and sat idle yet wonder about what her fantasies would bring. She needed Connie to think about during the night and afterward work at an ice store, she additionally had dreams for her child, and she envisioned living a decent house isolated as a family. In any case, she honestly didn’t do anything and couldn’t accomplish her fantasies. She just as the remainder of the family were in a battle to enduring, so she had no other decision than to surrender her illusions. While a significant number of Americans have their concept of what the American dream is, few get the opportunity to see that fantasy work out as expected.

The vast majority of the portrayed occasions in the novel will, in general, demolish the opportunity at prevailing to live the American dream. Times for the families couldn’t be most exceedingly awful, Americans wherein an extraordinary discouragement which implied that the economy was downright awful, this signifies one reason for why Americans in this time lost expectation on the American dream. ‘Furthermore, cash that may have gone for wages went for gas, for weapons, for operators and spies, for boycotts, for boring. On the interstates, the individuals moved like ants and looked for work, for nourishment. What’s more, the resentment started to mature’. Something other than the cash, wood, and work the Joad’s are searching for equity, for humanity.

For the Joads the American dream implied for, than self-accomplishment, it intended to ensure their and other’s right since they needed to live in a nation that was secure for them and their family. ‘Any place they’s a battle so ravenous individuals can eat. I’ll be there. Any place they’s a cop beating’ up a person, I’ll be there I’ll stand out children chuckle when they’re eager n’ they know dinner’s ready’. This likewise demonstrates the solidarity of a person with its general public.

The American dream keeps a general public contained and going because then one accepts that on the off chance that I’m not flourishing, on the off chance that I’m not purchasing these things, at that point that implies that I may accomplish something incorrectly. The American dream for these individuals during this time was to a greater extent an asylum and motivation to continue onward and continue longing for what one accepts and needs, the American dream resembles a religion for the individual, he would have the fantasy in his mind for each choice that he makes, he would attempt to develop his life around this conviction. Steinbeck epic demonstrates this, the Joads with their fantasy about having a superior experience need to change their method for living, move from the spot they generally lived in, leave their loved ones to seek after their convictions.

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The Grapes of Wrath as “A Piece of Documentary Propaganda in Functional Form”

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Throughout The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck follows the journey of the Joads during the Great Recession, they were a fictional family who had fallen into poverty after losing their farm and had no choice but to become migrant workers. I believe Steinbeck takes a Marxist approach to writing this novel, creating a reaction against capitalism by using real life circumstances to depict this fictional account and stand up for how the ‘Okie’ people were treated. Steinbeck himself worked as a ranch worker and fruit picker before becoming a writer and he travelled through California to collect information by talking to migrants, gaining a real sense of what they faced when leaving their homes in the 1930s, therefore his life experiences help to make this novel as accurate and realistic as possible.

Steinbeck adds an element of foreshadowing to his novel through his use of interweaving chapters. In chapter three he focuses on the story of a turtle who is struggling to cross the highway, barely surviving after a truck hits it and sends it back off the road, but it survives and tries again. In the following chapter Tom Joad finds this turtle and brings it home, hoping to surprise his brother and keep it as pet and when he meets Jim Casy the turtle tries to escape multiple times, but never fully manages it. Eventually when Tom returns to his family home to find it empty, he gives up and sets the turtle free, only for it to be attacked by one of the cats but again it survives by hiding in its shell until the cat leaves, before starting off on its journey once again. Lisca believes, ‘the indomitable life force that drives the turtle, drives the Joads’; the turtle is symbolic throughout as it faces much opposition yet shows determination to overcome it’s struggles, refusing to give up, much like the Joads family and in the end they both survive. Through the use of this symbol we as readers articulate sympathy for this poor turtle along its difficult and testing journey therefore Steinbeck foreshadows this sympathy that he wants us to have towards the Joads in their journey to battle against capitalism.

Steinbeck opens a scene in the novel by depicting a farmer who is standing next to a broken down home describing how ‘the Bank… or the Company… needs… wants… insists… must have… as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensared them’ in order to portray the Bank and big companies as evil and out to get land tenants and farmers. This is significant as many big land owners and corporations at the time evicted their tenants simply because they were of no use to them anymore and were non profitable, and Steinbeck wanted to emphasise how wrong this is and of what cost it comes to these tenants. The government created a new policy with the intention of increasing the price of cotton and it began to offer grants to land owners who would decrease the amount land on which they were farming on, this money was supposed to go towards helping tenants, but instead many land owners were using it for their own personal use, for example buying new tractors. This was the making of poverty for small farm owners and tenant farmers, leaving them with no choice but to leave their home land and migrate into California. Therefore, from the outset, Steinbeck makes readers aware that the problem stems from capitalism in big companies and banks whom the Okies fall victim to.

The Joads were one of the families who fell victim to the new government policy as they were forced to leave their home and begin their trip to California to start a new life after the drought left them unable to keep their land. Steinbeck highlights the effects that this had on them. The Joads had no choice in leaving as we learn from this dialogue:

‘You got to get off. It ain’t my fault’

‘Whose fault is it? I’ll go an’ I’ll nut the fellow.’

‘It’s the Shawnee Lan’ an’ Cattle Company. I jus’ got orders.’

‘Who’s the Shawnee Lan’ an’ Cattle Company?’

‘It ain’t nobody. It’s a company.’

Steinbeck is emphasising how unfair it is that the Joads had no choice and alike many others, they lived at the mercy of large companies such as the ‘Shawnee Lan’ an’ Cattle Company’and could do nothing about it, they had no one to defend them and had to simply do as they were told, even at the cost of uprooting their whole family home and livelihood. He is highlighting that these capitalist companies don’t care about the repercussions for small farmers, they only care about making more money and so their treatment of families like the Joads is wrong and inhumane.

In many situations, there is no one for people like the Joads to discuss matters with in order to possibly come to some sort of arrangement, they are simply told what to do and left with no other option. In chapter five when the tractor comes to clear the land the tenant threatens the worker driving the tractor with a gun, to which he responds, ‘I’ll lose my job if I don’t do it… suppose you kill me? They’ll just hang you, but long before you’re hung there’ll be another guy on the tractor’, the tenant questions, ‘Who gave you the orders? I’ll go after him’, and the worker tells him ‘He got his orders from the Bank.’ Steinbeck is portraying the Bank as the monster and the one to blame for this man’s misfortune as the worker is simply following their orders, the bank does not care about neither the tenant or the worker as long as the land is cleared and made profitable. The tenant says, ‘it’s not like lightening or earthquakes’, he knows it’s caused by humans who should have rationale and the ability to stop this, but he is unable to find anyone to actually talk to. Steinbeck alludes to the capitalists here, who even go as far to dehumanise not only the Okies, but their workers in order to get their dirty work done, and the novel as a whole is based around exposing these Banks and large companies.

Steinbeck showcases how the mentality of farmers and businesses of every man for himself caused a lot of issues in the lives of the migrants. For example, a small farmer only needed to have three workers and he had been paying them thirty cents an hour, but at the Farmer’s Association meeting he was confronted and threatened, ‘You’re paying thirty cents an hour. You’d better cut it down to twenty-five… If you pay thirty, it’ll only cause unrest. And by the way, you going to need the usual amount of crop loan next year.’ Steinbeck was emphasising that even when the migrant workers could get a job with someone who wanted to pay them fairly, that person was then threatened and manipulated by those more powerful than him. The farmer realises the injustice of what is happening to these people but cannot do anything about it without making a negative impact on his own life. After the three men, including Tom, agree to work for less pay he tells them, ‘I don’t know how you men can feed a family on what you get now.’ Steinbeck discusses how the treatment of Okies was even worse than the treatment of foreign immigrants years prior, ‘Okies did accept lower wages – wages that Mexicans, in fact, had refused.’ Steinbeck tackles the ongoing theme throughout of emphasising how wrong it is that capitalist corporations such as the Farmers Association leave people with no choice but to do what they want, or they themselves will be threatened, and in doing what they want they are often forced to give up their humanity.

In another bid to portray how unfairly the Okies are treated, Steinbeck describes how the Joad family take a job picking peaches, where they are given a dollar in credit for the company’s grocery store. When Ma goes to the shop, she realises that a dollar does not buy much at all and all together they only make a dollar fifty a day. They are unable to afford the food here and are not earning their own cash so they cannot go to another store to buy what they need. The shop clerk has no sympathy towards Ma, telling her ‘Hooper Ranches Incorporated’ own it and make the prices, not him. She asks him ‘Doin’ a dirty thing like this. Shames ya, don’t it?’ but he simply responds with, ‘a fella got to eat.’ Steinbeck is highlighting how unacceptable it is that capitalists are abusing the system by treating the Okies this way, and feeling no remorse towards any of their actions because they are only concerned with thriving themselves. He emphasises how capitalists dehumanise others after obtaining power and wealth.

If the small farmer or the shop clerk had refused to do as they were ordered which was to rob the Okies, they would have been subject to a counterblast. But Steinbeck wanted readers to realise that if all of these small farmers and shop clerks stood unanimously, and refused to do what was morally wrong, then change could be possible. Casy states in the first chapter, ‘It’s all part of the same thing. And some of the things folk do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but that’s as far as any man got a right to say’, highlighting that in the country’s current situation, only the rich and powerful such as Banks and large corporations can voice their opinions, and anyone else is threatened. Juxtaposing this, near the end of the novel Tom exclaims, ‘I been wonderin’ if all our folks got together an’ yelled.’ Shindo states that upon ending the novel, ‘the reader is left with very little resolution of the conflict’ but I believe Steinbeck’s aim was to encourage his readers to come together to force a change in attitudes towards the migrants and take a stand against capitalists. McElderry supports this view, stating that whilst writing the novel Steinbeck had ‘subconscious motivation- to express his basic faith in mankind, in the courage, the endurance and the kindliness of people like the Joads, and to show their passionate yearning for opportunity and for justice.’

Many Californian communities were furious at Steinbeck’s opinions in the book and it was banned in some counties for example Kern, I believe this was due to the embarrassment American’s felt after reading how accurately he portrayed their treatment of immigrants. Green states that the novel, ‘was a social document that outraged management groups such as the Associated Farmers of California’[footnoteRef:19] and Shockley reports that, ‘The Associated Farmers Group of Kern County described the book as ‘propaganda in its vilest form.’ Some argue that his portrayal was historically inaccurate and he exaggerated circumstances, but I do not support this view due to the extensive research Steinbeck carried out before writing the novel. Professor O.B Duncan, Head of Department of Sociology agrees, ‘I have been asked quite often if I could not dig up some statistics capable of refusing the story, it cannot be done, for all the available data prove beyond doubt that the general impression of Steinbeck’s book is substantially reliable.’ Therefore I believe that even though this novel is in fictional form, it captures life events for what they really were, and Steinbeck wanted his readers to tackle these events and go against capitalist corporations such as the Farmers Association, which is why it angered them so greatly.

In conclusion, I believe Steinbeck was revealing the true atrocity of the situation in which the immigrants were subject to due to capitalists within the country. His key concern was to expose how these capitalist companies exploited the Okies due to the new oversupply of labour workers, in order to make more profit in their businesses. Much of Steinbeck’s anger rooted from the treatment of Okies and how business owners, banks and land owners refused to acknowledge them as human, he states ‘these are American people’. But in his community they were only seen as a way to make more money, diseased or at fault for the tax increase, therefore a huge stigma surrounded the Okie people. I agree with Whicher’s statement, as I believe that propaganda is evident in the novel as Steinbeck wants to showcase how terrible things were, and to evoke his reader’s sympathy towards Okies, and their anger towards capitalist banks and companies. Through this novel he was driving for change, and attempting to drive his readers towards making this change.

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The Grapes of Wrath Book Report

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Exposition of The Grapes of Wrath takes place in 1939 in Oklahoma when the dust bowl was occuring. It begins on the Joad family farm as they prepare to head to California before the conditions of the dust bowl get worse. The setting is very significant to the story because the dust bowl made it hard for people to live in Oklahoma. Page 17 states, “ Joad took a few steps, and the flourlike dust spurted up in front of his new yellow shoes, and the yellowness was disappearing under the gray dust. ” The dust bowl drove many people from Oklahoma to move out west, as conditions were not conducive to farming. Characterization: There are 3 main characters involved in the Grapes of Wrath. Ma Joad: Ma Joad is the matriarch of the family. She cooks dinner, tells the men what to do, does the laundry and goes shopping. She didn’t want the men to have anything to do with food preparation and threw a fit when the men tried to salt cure the pork. Ma is a very strong character as she kept the knowledge that grandma had passed before they made it to California. Ma frequently told the family what to do. When they were at Weedpatch government camp, she decided the family was going to go north towards Tulare to pick cotton. Ma is a very important character throughout the entire book.

Tom Joad: Tom Joad, known throughout the book as, “Joad,” started off the book as just paroling from 4 years in prison and is trying to make his way home. When he went over the hill to go the Joad farm, he saw that they were leaving. He decided to go up and surprise the family with a visit, and they told him they were going to California. He decided to go along and to avoid being caught again. Towards the end of the story, Joad was walking along the river and found a homeless encampment. In that encampment, he finds Jim Casy, the preacher in the novel. While Joad and Jim were talking, the property owner came with a pick-axe struck Jim Casy in the head and killed him. Joad went and told Ma that he had found Jim Casy, but now deceased, the police were looking for Joad for being suspected of the murder of Jim Casy. Joad went and hid in some blackberry bushes to stay hidden from the police. Pa Joad: Pa Joad is head of the family. He planned out the whole trip to move to California. As Pa got older, he tried his best to maintain his position of family leader, but he wasn’t able to do what he used to. He was complaining of “muddled” thoughts and had difficulty deciding in troubled situations, such as, whether to go north to Tulare or stay in Weedpatch camp. When they go north towards Tulare, they get a flat tire and a man tells them about work just ahead. When they leave Cooper farms to pick cotton, they hit a severe rainstorm and Pa shows his commitment to the family by building a dam to stop the river from overflowing.

Elements of plot: As this story starts off, we are introduced to Tom Joad. He is hitchhiking a ride with a delivery man to make his way home from prison and he finds that his family is packing up to move to California. They told Tom that they looked for work and couldn’t find any work, so they hoped California would have some work for them. After the long journey finally ended, they looked up from the top of a hill and looked down over the San Joaquin Valley and they were speechless because it was so beautiful. When they got work picking cotton in Tulare, Tom Joad witnessed Jim Casy be killed by the property owner and in turn, Tom kills one of the property owners assistant’s. Tom now has to hide because he became a wanted man by the law for the murder. Right at the end of the story, a huge rainstorm hits the cotton plantation and the Joad’s are forced to move, but the car was broken and wouldn’t start. The family choose to go to higher ground to stay away from the flooding river caused by the rain. They come across a vacant barn and they head inside. In the corner, there is an older man who was dying of starvation, and Ma forced Rose of Sharon to give the man some milk to save his life. He smiled mysteriously.

Reader’s Response: The part of, “The Grapes of Wrath,” that was most interesting to me was pages 165-185. On 165, their car engine started to rattle out in the middle of nowhere. I found this interesting because that car is their only way to California, and they need that car to make it there. Luckily, there was a junkyard just ahead. The man running the junkyard said take what you want because he disliked his boss and wanted revenge. They took the part, put it in their car, payed for it and then they were on their way again. This sparks my interest because they didn’t have a reliable car that will get them all the way to California, but they were so desperate to get to California. They risked going in the unreliable car. Theme: One major theme in The Grapes of Wrath is family and sticking together in times of desperation. I can relate to this theme because my family teams up and we get necessary tasks completed faster by helping each other. The Joad family is the same way in helping each other complete jobs. For example, trimming our bushes/trees is easier when everyone helps. Knowledge:

  • Bemused(V): Puzzled, confused, or bewildered After a while, the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant.
  • Insinuation(N): An unpleasant hint or suggestion of something bad. His voice had the same quality of secrecy and insinuation his eyes had
  • Sparse(Adj): Thinly dispersed or scattered The willows of a stream lined across the west, and to the northwest a fallow section was going back to sparse brush.
  • Beseech(V): Ask urgently and fervently to do something. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land.
  • Jalopy(N): An old car in a dilapidated condition. Get ‘em in a car. Start them at 200 and work down. They look good for one and a quarter. Get ‘em rolling. Get ‘em out in a jalopy.
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