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The Grapes Of Wrath Paper

1114 words - 5 pages

The Grapes of Wrath

This paper interprets John Steinbeck’s themes in The Grapes of Wrath, about the inhumanity of man, the unity of the migrants, and the power of wrath as well as a historical outlook during this time period in relation to the novel. Steinbeck’s overall goal emphasizes the need for cooperation and human value to find a solution to the social problems during The Great Depression. Ideally, in the novel's plan, Steinbeck leads people to realize their place in the larger human family.
As the Joad’s are driven out of their homes, Steinbeck suggests that the hardships the families face occur from not just the harsh weather conditions or misfortune but from the ...view middle of the document...

Even though giving up a portion of their land may save a family, the privileged refuse to jeopardize their wealth. Jim Casey believes men must act for the good of all men. In The Grapes of Wrath, the moral order is a kind of selflessness and charity. As the novel says, without these virtues there is no hope for a livable world. One farmer warns the corrupt pawnbroker who robs him of his belongings, he says, “You cut us down, and soon you will be cut down and there’ll be none of us to save you.”
During this time of bitter cruelty in a forlorn world, opportunities to display kindness and generosity that create value to the human life exist. The story of the waitress, Mae, who at first brushes away the farmer and his two boys who want some bread is an example of the kindness that is brought out during this time. After Mae brushes the farmer away, the trucker sitting in the diner tells Mae to give the man some bread, and she finally does plus giving the two boys some candy. The trucker in return leaves Mae and extra-large tip. The lesson Mae learns is that compassion and generosity are rewarded.
As the families travel to California they come together, “twenty families became one family”, thus creating the unity of the migrant’s theme. The lives of the farmers begins to change, a sense of community and togetherness takes over and they become stronger and more united than ever before. The families find a new strength that they lacked before as individuals. The unity of the migrants is something the California landowners feel as a threat and the farmers begin to formulate the idea of the great power they could have once organized.
The battle between the rich and poor, the landowners and the migrants has begun. The illustrations of the rotting crops symbolize the people’s ripening anger or wrath thus, giving the novel it’s title. Steinbeck writes, “In the souls of the people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage”. This theme symbolizes the migrants anger that has been turning and is ready to burst. The men’s wrath is what holds them together from falling...

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