The Grapes of Wrath portrays life at its darkest. It is the story of migrant workers and the hardships and heartbreaks that they experience as they are driven from their land - the land that they have lived on for generations - so the banks can make a profit.
Sure, cried the tenant men, but 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. That's what makes it ours - being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it (p.45).
Steinbeck follows the Joad family as they leave their farm to forge a new life in the land of opportunity - California - where life is golden and jobs are abundant . . . or so they think. They are met with distrust and dislike by the residents of the cities they pass through, and they have little success in finding jobs with salaries that they can survive on. Once the Joads reach California, they discover that the situation there is much the same; the jobs are sparse and wages low. People are starving to death while fruit rots on the trees. Once again, this is so others can make a profit.
And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates - died of malnutrition - because the food must rot, must be forced to rot (p.477).
Steinbeck masterfully weaves a powerful and gripping story of hope, heartbreak, and survival, alternating the account of the Joads' journey with chapters that take a step back and show the struggle of the United States as a whole. This gives the book a depth that is rarely achieved in literature - at le...
... middle of paper ...
...rror behind - strange things happen to them, some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that the faith is refired forever" (p.166).
Sources Cited and Consulted
Cunningham, Charles D. "Solidarity, Sympathy, Contempt: The Mythology of Rural Poverty in Depression America." Diss. Carnegie Mellon U, 2001.
French, Warren. "John Steinbeck" Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 1, Gale Research Co.: Book Tower: Detroit 1973.
Lechteihn, Yuri. "The Awakening of Tom Joad." 2 pp. Online. Internet. 30 April, 2004. Available http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Steinbeck/grapes.html.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc, 1993.
Timmerman, John. John Steinbeck’s Fiction. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.
Wilson, Edmund. "The Noonday Press." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 13, Gale Research Co. Book Tower: Detroit 1973.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the year of 1939, the Great Depression affected the lives of many located within the United States. This was a severe, and most widespread depression which affected people across the world. For the reason that there was a fall of the stock market, a drought ravaged the agricultural heartland. Those who were dependent on their farmland to provide for their families became imposed by coercion to retreat and re-locate their entire families. This migration was a struggle during this period because the lack of resources and money to survive.... [tags: Grapes of Wrath, movies,]
1070 words (3.1 pages)
- One of the most important attributes seldom attributed to women is the innate ability to keep the family as a cohesive whole. Women are the rock in the midst of familial turmoil, the solid foundation on which a husband or head of a household can stand firm. Fully assured that womanhood will stand back of the ranks and take care of domestic needs. Women have qualities that keep the family strong, these unique attributes can divided into several standards. One being the physical aspect of “mother” nature, two virginity representing the religious type of the standard, three is the young bitch who represent the physical state while four is the old bitch who also has a spiritual side of the woman... [tags: Grapes of Wrath]
1476 words (4.2 pages)
- Synthesis Essay #2 The definition of beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty has negative and positive influences on mostly people. Beauty is described by the inside and outside of us. Due to beauty, our self-esteem has been hurt dramatically, especially towards girls. Beauty is not always about our outside looks but it’s about our inside personality also. First of all, beauty has negative and positive influences on about everything.... [tags: Beauty]
916 words (2.6 pages)
- Throughout history, beauty was more so known as someone with the physical appearance that was pleasant to the eye. Although beauty varies from different cultures and area, people that are younger, with average looking symmetrical features, well proportioned bodies, and some combination of inner beauty, and relatively young, are considered beautiful. The more average your features are to society the more attractive you are. Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton was the first to notice this when he overlaid images of vegetarians and criminals to see if there were typical facial appearances for each.... [tags: Beauty ]
1124 words (3.2 pages)
- The Grapes of Wrath is an important commentary on society and humanity, and is intended to evoke intense feelings from readers. John Steinbeck, the author, attempts to create many true emotions about the book and the reality that it was based on. Steinbeck uses images that are very effective and have a large impact on how the characters are perceived. Some of the images show the dismal abyss that the Joad family survived in, and others show hope, endurance, and strength. Some of the most effective images are those of sadness, failure, and devastation, which cause the connection between the unforgiving and tormented land and the anguish and persecution which the resolute Jo... [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
796 words (2.3 pages)
- The Changing Family Revealed in Grapes of Wrath The emphasis on family in America is decreasing. Divorce rates, single-parent households, and children born out of wedlock are all increasing. Furthermore, instead of the network of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and other relatives that was prevalent in early America, Americans today are more distant from their extended family. As sociologist David Elkind said in a 1996 interview with Educational Leadership, "Instead of togetherness, we have a new focus on autonomy.... [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
1776 words (5.1 pages)
- 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)
- Stereotypical Beauty Do stereotypes of body images exist. “A "stereotype" is a generalization about a person or group of persons. Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes, but these stereotypes often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavorable” (Grobman). It is hard to understand how much the media affects us unless one stands back and evaluates things such as commercials, magazines, and television shows. Women today follow the stereotypical images of beauty that the media portrays.... [tags: Beauty ]
1523 words (4.4 pages)
- Numerous clothing ads appeared in the August 2009 issue of Seventeen magazine to show of the fall's biggest trend especially for “back-to-school” shopping. The eyes of the reader are first drawn to Seventeen's headline of “1081 Ways to Look Amazing;” and further into the magazine, the readers are attracted to models who appear to look like seventeen year-olds. Majority of the clothing ads portray the “everyday” teenager who is constantly happy, and most of all, thin. However, Torrid's clothing ad differentiates from the rest of the advertisements.... [tags: Beauty ]
1308 words (3.7 pages)
- Hopelessness Screaming. Constant screaming. It's so loud and goes on for so long that you can't stand any more. And it gets louder. More persistent. More unrelenting. Louder and louder and louder until you can't see how to stop it. But you have to stop it. To stop the pain. To stop the hurt. To stop everything * * * "Room 309. Lily Halliwell. She's yours. Quite an interesting case. The notes are all here," he held up the clipboard he was carrying and handed it to Dr. Quinn.... [tags: Papers]
942 words (2.7 pages)