Preview
Preview

Chapter 25 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 2623 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 25 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


In the twenty-fifth chapter of his novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck presents the reader with a series of vivid images, accompanied by a series of powerful indictments. Steinbeck effectively uses both the potent imagery and clear statements of what he perceives as fact to convey his message. This short chapter offers a succinct portrayal of one of the major themes of the larger work. Namely, the potential bounty of nature corrupted and left to rot by a profit-driven system, a system that ultimately fails.

Steinbeck begins the chapter with the simple statement, "The spring is beautiful in California" (p. 346). The proceeding explanation of California’s springtime beauty evokes images of Eden and Paradise. Steinbeck describes the full green hills, fragrant valleys of fruit blossoms, the swelling tendrils of grapes, and mile-long rows of lettuce, cauliflower, and artichoke. The fertility of the land is explicitly conveyed by the sentence, "The full green hills are round and soft as breasts" (p. 346). "Round and soft" breasts bring to mind both the voluptuous figure of a fertility goddess, and the comfort and safety of a mother’s embrace. The images that Steinbeck puts down here portray California as an abundant Eden. Capable of providing for all of her children, just as a mother would.

California’s bounty is graphically depicted when Steinbeck says, "The fruit grows heavy, and the limbs bend gradually under the fruit so that little crutches must be placed under them to support the weight" (p. 346). Imagine a hungry man reading those lines! Fruit so large and full that the branches bend and must be supported by crutches. It is as though Steinbeck has just describe...


... middle of paper ...


...he yield of the harvest. Yet there is a failure that Steinbeck perceives. He sees the hungry and starving people. How is it that despite the achievements of the best and brightest of humanity there still exist starving children? The answer that Steinbeck implies in the course of the chapter is that it is the system that is to blame. Any system of commerce that utilizes the best of human knowledge and pools the resources of humanity in its drive to make a profit, but is unable to prevent a child from starving to death, is a failure. It is a great and despicable failure in Steinbeck’s eyes. "There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize" (p. 349).

Works Cited


Ovid, Metamorphoses. ("The Ages of the World.") SRP 435 class handout.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin/ Viking Critical Library, 1997.

Tantalus. SRP 435 class handout.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Grapes of Wrath - Fear, Hostility, and Exploitation in Chapter 21 Essay - Fear, Hostility, and Exploitation in Chapter 21 of The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck's intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath have nothing to do with the Joads or other characters of the novel, but help describe the story in different terms. They are similar to poems, offering different viewpoints of the migration, and clarifying parts of the story that the reader might not understand. An excellent example of this use can be seen in chapter 21, where an examination of the attitudes of migrant Okies and the residents of California reveals the changing nature of land ownership among the changing population of California and gives greater meaning to the fierce hostility that the Joads...   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 1037 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath Essay - John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath Throughout his book, the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck employs the principles of Foucault’s theory that power exists as a result of consent. This is particularly the case in the relations between the Joad family. Chapter ten includes specific scenes in which the family members’ assumed positions of power are focused on and explained. When Jim Casy asks if he can accompany the Joads on their migratory trip to California, Ma looks to Tom to speak, “because he [is] a man”....   [tags: John Steinbeck Grapes Wrath Essays] 512 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Power of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath Essay - The Power of The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has become one of my favorite writers -- for the love he has for his characters, the loveliness of his language, and the clear-eyed conviction with which he writes. Originally, I failed to see the beauty in Steinbeck's people, though it is plainly there. Perhaps I hadn't seen enough of the world myself, yet. There was a lot I didn't understand about people. What Steinbeck does so well is to show people's struggle for simple human decency in the face of meanness and ignorance....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 1104 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Parallels Between The Grapes of Wrath and the Life of John Steinbeck Essay - John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. He had a pretty average childhood with a supportive family and a decent education. While growing up his mother, Olive Hamilton, was a major factor in his education, since she was a schoolteacher and made it her duty to educate him. His mother most likely was the reason he developed a love of reading and literature and ended up going to Stanford. In his child there were only two major events that affected his writing. These were when he worked on a ranch with migrant workers, and when his father’s business failed and the family was temporarily thrust into poverty....   [tags: Writing Style, John Steinbeck's Life]
:: 5 Works Cited
2935 words
(8.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay - Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck In the 1930s, America’s Great Plains experienced a disastrous drought causing thousands of people to migrate west. As their land was devastated by the Dust Bowl, deprived farmers were left with few options but to leave. The Grapes of Wrath depicts the journey of the Joads, an Oklahoma based family which decides to move to California in search of better conditions....   [tags: Grapes Wrath Steinbeck] 1030 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Unity of a Family Explored in The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Unity of a Family Explored in The Grapes of Wrath One would say that on a literal level The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is about the Joad family's journey to California during The Dust Bowl. However, it is also about the unity of a family and the concept of birth and death, both literal and abstract. Along with this, the idea of a family unit is explored through these births and deaths. As can be seen in The Grapes of Wrath, the Joads are a very tight-knit family. Yet on their trip to California, they experience many losses and additions to their family....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 805 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Grapes of Wrath - The True American Spirit Essay - The True American Spirit of The Grapes of Wrath   John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath is an excellent portrayal of the common and true Americans. While it is of course a book of deep thought and incredible symbolism, most of all The Grapes of Wrath gives these common American workers a voice and a distinct identity, and doesn't just turn them into a stereotype or cliche.     Steinbeck's book could be regarded as one of the best books from America and perhaps the best on the subject of the Great Depression....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 1150 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Grapes of Wrath - Journey of the Joads and Humanity Essay - The Journey of the Joads and the Journey of Humanity In Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, he describes the struggle of the small farmer and farmworker. The principal characters define quiet dignity and courage in their struggle to survive and in the caring for their loved ones. Through this novel, Steinbeck displays his respect for all the poor and oppressed of our world. The journey of the Joads represents Steinbeck's message of respect for the poor and oppressed on three levels....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 768 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Steinbeck's Style in The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Different Styles in The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck used a lot of different styles in The Grapes of Wrath. He liked using language that was in keeping with his characters. He was also really big on symbolism. Steinbeck also used intercalary chapters to provide some of the background information. John Steinbeck must have loved using slang and natural dialect. All of his characters spoke with a very heavy accents. "Tell 'em ya dong's growed scence you los' your eye." (P. 180). Granted, this does add some realism....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays] 487 words
(1.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Man's Relationship to the Land in John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath Essay examples -         Man's relationship to the land undergoes a transformation throughout John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Initially, back in Oklahoma, each family feels a strong attachment to the land because the ancestors of these farmers fought and cleared the Indians out of the land, made it suitable for farming, and worked year after year in the fields so that each generation would be provided for. Passing down the land to successive generations, the farmers come to realize that the land is all that they own....   [tags: Essays on Grapes of Wrath]
:: 5 Works Cited
2113 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]