Grapes of Wrath

1194 Words5 Pages
Because of the devastating disaster of the dust bowl, the Joad family was forced to leave their long-time home and find work and a new life elsewhere. They, like many other families, moved to California. "The land of milk and honey". The people in the dust bowl imagined California as a haven of jobs where they would have a nice little white house and as much fruit as they could eat. This dream was far from the reality the migrant farmers faced once in California. The dreams, hopes, and expectations the Joads had of California were crushed by the reality of the actual situation in this land of hate and prejudice. The Joads dream of owning a nice white house and being overwhelmed with fruit was quickly put to end after their first night in California. Ma says, "But I like to think how nice it's gonna be, maybe, in California. Never cold. An' fruite ever'place, an' people just bein' in the nicest places, little white houses in among the orange trees." They had been lied to by the handbills and other propaganda that was circulating in the dust bowl region. The growers in California knew that the people of the dust bowl would have to leave their houses because of the crisis. They also knew the more pickers they had the lower they could make their prices. The number of handbills sent out far out numbered the number of jobs available. Many people in the dust bowl were constructing a view of California that was devastatingly false. However most of the people had to go somewhere, and all they knew was agriculture, so the natural thing was to go to the only place in the country at that time that was in peak agricultural condition. This was all true in the case of the Joads. They had no experience with any other kind of lifestyle. They were farmers and they thought that was what they would remain. What they became was job hunters, starving and hungry people, and homeless vagrants. California was no dream land, but the exact opposite. A promised heaven that was revealed to be a very real hell. During the long journey to California the Joads, and other migrant travelers, encountered many warnings of what California was going to be like from migrants who were returning home, mostly destroyed by the true reality of California. They got a warning in the camp they stayed at on the side of the road while Tom, Al, and Casey were fixing the car. There was... ... middle of paper ... ...t at the end of the tunnel because if they stayed where they were they would surely have not survived. The Joads couldn't stay where they were and without a goal to reach, something to look forward to, one just wanders around life aimlessly and hopelessly. They kept the dream alive throughout the journey. Even through the harsh rumors they heard along the road. They still kept that fragment of hope in the back of their heads that California would be everything they hoped it would be. Even in their worst times in California they would still look forward to earning enough money and getting a little white house to live in. Their lives really were destroyed when the dust bowl hit but no one can except those facts so they must tell themselves it will be all right. We will go to California and everything will be even better there than it was here. Unfortunately that wasn't the reality of the situation and the Joads were forced to deal with that harsh reality once in California and on the hard long journey there. California was no dream land, but rather a sealed fate to a life of fighting for food and watching loved ones die. California was the pain of the migrants summed up in one word.

More about Grapes of Wrath

Open Document