Grapes Of Wrath

analytical Essay
2538 words
2538 words

Born: 1902
Died: 1968
Wrote: He wrote The Grapes of Wrath in 1930’s and released it in 1939. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Nationality: He was an American author who lived in Salinas, California. He was educated at Stanford University. He first worked as a fruit picker, but then moved to New York. He didn’t like it in New York so he moved back and became an author.

Style: John Steinbeck’s style is to write about something that he knows first hand. He likes to have all the details before writing his stories. Prior to writing The Grapes of Wrath, he caught up with some migrants from Oklahoma and rode with them on their journey to California.
His style in The Grapes of Wrath is to have a chapter with dialogue and the story, and to then give a picture of the times. He describes the depression of the 1930’s and gives the reader a full view of what the migrants were going through. There is a dialogue and ‘story’ chapter, which is followed or preceded by an ‘intercalary’ (between) chapter. The ‘intercalary’ chapters are what serve to show the migrant’s struggling, and the big picture of what times were like.

Genre: The Grapes of Wrath is considered a protest novel to many. Steinbeck originally wrote it to ask California farmers to have sympathy for the migrating ‘Okies’. However, today recognized as a classic, this would most likely fall under the genre of drama.

Notes: As you read The Grapes of Wrath you must take into consideration that Steinbeck has traveled with Oklahoma migrants so that he is writing from experience. However, because he wants to get sympathy for migrants he may exaggerate conditions a little. Steinbeck uses a lot of symbolism in his writing. He starts with a turtle symbolizing the Joad family and the hardships they will face. Characters symbolize and foreshadow events, and small things can play a larger role than expected. Steinbeck’s mastery of symbolism and his relating to the bible can be seen throughout the entire novel.

Conversion and the many changes that take place

Tom and his family undergo significant change due to uncontrollable forces that occur throughout the book. Through these events he and his family go through conversion, death and rebirth, migration, and are on constant pursuit for a better life. Many inner and outer changes occur throughout the entire novel. The Joad family begins the novel as self-centered individuals, and end the novel as a universal family with all the other migrants from Oklahoma, also known as ‘Okies’.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how tom dies from his freedom and is reborn into his life of imprisonment, but his death was for his family, the family of humanity. both become preachers and group organizers.
  • Analyzes how the deaths and rebirths alter the roles of ma and pa and switch the amount of power each has.
  • Analyzes how rose of sharon illustrates another important theme in the book, the importance of life. casy believes that humans are holy so he must live among the people.
  • Analyzes how casy's theory of migrant collaboration and empowerment is a forerunner of the theme of life.
  • Analyzes how the characters of the joad family unite with each other, pick up casy and the wilson family, and soon are united with all the migrants.
  • Concludes that tom and his family undergo significant change due to uncontrollable forces that occur throughout the book. tom decides to die for the cause of spreading casy's message of organization and rebellion.
  • Describes steinbeck's style in the grapes of wrath, which was published in 1939 and won the pulitzer prize in 1940.
  • Analyzes how tom and his family undergo significant change due to uncontrollable forces that occur throughout the book. the novel's first theme is that of the pursuit for a better life.
Get Access