Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Powerful Images of The Grapes of Wrath
In the Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has achieved an interesting effect by breaking the narrative at intervals with short, impressionistic passages recorded as though by a motion picture camera moving quickly from one scene to another and from one focus to another. The novel is a powerful indictment of our capitalistic economy and a sharp criticism of the southwestern farmer for his imprudence in the care of his land. The outstanding feature of the Grapes of Wrath is its photographically detailed, if occasionally sentimentalized description of the American farmers of the Dust Bowl in the midthirties of the twentieth century.
Tom Joad was released from the Oklahoma state penitentiary where he had served a sentence for killing a man in self-defense. He traveled homeward through a region made barren by drought and dust storms. On the way he met Jim Casy an expreacher; the pair went together to the home of Tom's people. They found the Joad place deserted. While Tom and Casy were wondering what had happened, Muley Graves, a diehard tenant farmer, came by and disclosed that all of the families in the neighborhood had gone to California or were going. Tom's folks, Muley said, had gone to a relative's place preparatory to going west. Muley was the only sharecropper to stay behind.
All over the southern Midwest states, farmers, no longer able to make a living because of land banks, weather, and machine farming, had sold or were forced out of the farms they had tenanted. Junk dealers and used-car salesmen profiteered on them. Thousands of families took to the roads leading to the promised land, California.
Tom and Casy found the Joads at Uncle John's place all busy with preparations to leave for California. Assembled for the trip were Pa and Ma Joad; Noah, their mentally backward son, Al, the adolescent younger brother of Tom and Noah, Rose of Sharon, Tom's sister and her husband, Connie; the Joad children, Rothie and Winfield, and Granma and Grampa Joad. Al had bought an ancient truck to take them west. The family asked Jim Casy to go with them.
Spurred by handbills which stated that agricultural workers were badly needed in California, the Joads, along with thousands of others, made their tortuous way, in a worn out vehicle across the plains toward the mountains.
How to Cite this Page
"Steinbeck's Powerful Images in The Grapes of Wrath." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- 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.... [tags: Grapes Wrath John Steinbeck Papers]
2623 words (7.5 pages)
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Stienbeck In The Grapes of Wrath, Stienbeck illustrates such powerful images using his own values. When the Joad family starts deciding to move to California for a better life, the story begins. Tom comes home from prison and the family is reunited. The hopes of all are refreshed and the move seems to be a good idea. And here we have one of Steinbecks greatest value, the family or the group, and the ties that lie within it. This value is seen through many different examples in this novel.... [tags: Papers]
379 words (1.1 pages)
- The Grapes of Wrath is a novel published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature.Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath at his home, 16250 Greenwood Lane, in what is now Monte Sereno, California. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a nearly hopeless situation, they set out for California's Central Valley along with thousands of other "Okies" in search of land, jobs, and dignity.... [tags: Stienbeck, Literary Analysis, Literary Criticism]
1016 words (2.9 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)
- ... At this Hooverville, starving children had to beg for meals, and a lady got angry at Ma for feeding her child. It was very different at his Hooverville because of people not working together. When the fight broke out between the cop and Floyd, everyone ran in fear and nobody stood up for him, besides Tom. Many of these problems could have been solved with a little cooperation and compassion. John Steinbeck made it obvious which people were better off and which people would be the ones to struggle throughout the Depression.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck]
1845 words (5.3 pages)
- The Powerful Style of The Grapes of Wrath When Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, our country was just starting to recover from The Great Depression. The novel he wrote, though fiction, was not an uncommon tale in many lives. When this book was first published, the majority of those reading it understood where it was coming from-they had lived it. But now very few people understand the horrors of what went on in that time. The style in which Steinbeck chose to write The Grapes of Wrath helps get across the book's message.... [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
981 words (2.8 pages)
- Two writers who come quickly to my mind whenever I hear or see images of American patriotism are John Steinbeck and Hunter S. Thompson. As different as these two men are, their writing is similar in that the American Dream constantly fails their characters. Both seek to define America and the American Dream, however, it remains seemingly elusive, and both writers fail to find it. I choose Steinbeck and Thompson because, to me, their writing styles are the same. They have the same lust for language and powerful writing.... [tags: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas]
1313 words (3.8 pages)
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck What does it take for one to achieve the American dream. What kinds of struggles does one need to overcome to achieve their goals in life. In the classic novel The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, you can follow the Joad family in the pursuit to their dreams and the difficulties they faced and overcame. The Joad family faced numerous conflicts including; men, society, nature, and him/herself but overcame many to keep pushing them towards their dream; to go to California and find a better life.... [tags: Steinbeck Grapes Wrath]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- Steinbeck's Faulty Logic in The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath chronicles the destruction and chaos of the lives of the dust bowl victims and their families. The classic novel works on two levels. On the one hand, it is the story of a family, how it reacts, and how it is unsettled by a serious problem threatening to overwhelm it. On the other hand, the story is an appeal to political leaders that when the common working-class is put upon too harshly, they will revolt. In this aspect it is a social study which argues for a utopia-like society where the powerful owners of the means of production will be replaced by a more communal and egalitarian community l... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck]
1058 words (3 pages)
Close to the California line, where the group stopped to bathe in a river, Noah, feeling he was a hindrance to the others, wandered away. It was there that the Joads first heard themselves addressed as Okies, another word for tramps.
Granma died during the night trip across the desert. After burying her, the group went into a Hooverville, as the migrants' camps were called. There they learned that work was all but impossible to find. A contractor came to the camp to sign up men to pick fruit in another county. When the Okies asked to see his license, the contractor turned the leaders over to a police deputy who had accompanied him to camp. Tom was involved in the fight which followed. He escaped, and Casy gave himself up in Tom's place. Connie, husband of the pregnant Rose of Sharon, suddenly disappeared from the group. The family was breaking up in the face of its hardships. Ma Joad did everything in her power to keep the group together.
The Joads left Hooverville and went to a government camp maintained for transient agricultural workers. For the first time since they had arrived in California, the Joads found themselves treated as human beings.
Circumstances eventually forced them to leave the camp, however, for there was no work in the district. They drove to a large farm where work was being offered. There they found agitators attempting to keep the migrants from taking the work because of unfair wages offered. But the Joads, thinking only of food, were escorted by motorcycle police into the farm. The entire family picked peaches for five cents a box and earned in a day just enough money to buy food for one meal. Tom, remembering the pickets outside the camp, went out at night to investigate. He found Casy, who was the leader of the agitators. While Tom and Casy were talking, deputies, who had been searching for Casy, closed in on them. The pair fled, but were caught. Casy was killed. Tom received a cut on his head, but not before he had felled a deputy with an ax handle. The family concealed Tom in their shack. The rate for a box of peaches dropped, meanwhile, to two-and-a-half cents. Tom's danger and the futility of picking peaches drove the Joads on their way. They hid the injured Tom under the mattresses in the back of the truck.
The family found at last a migrant crowd encamped in abandoned boxcars along a stream. They joined the camp and soon found temporary jobs picking cotton. Ma, realizing that Tom was not safe, sent him away.
The Autumn rains began. Soon the stream which ran beside the camp overflowed and water entered the boxcars. Under these all but impossible conditions, Rose of Sharon gave birth to a dead baby. When the rising water made their position no longer bearable, the family moved from the camp on foot. The rains had made their old car useless. They came to a barn, which they shared with a boy and his starving father. Rose of Sharon, bereft of her baby, nourished the famished man with the milk from her breasts. So the poor kept each other alive in the depression years.