Plot[ edit ] The narrative begins just after Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester prisonwhere he had been imprisoned after being convicted of homicide.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Historical, social, and economic circumstances separate people into rich and poor, landowner and tenant, and the people in the dominant roles struggle viciously to preserve their positions. In his brief history of California in Chapter 19, Steinbeck portrays the state as the product of land-hungry squatters who took the land from Mexicans and, by working it and making it produce, rendered it their own.
Now, generations later, the California landowners see this historical example as a threat, since they believe that the influx of migrant farmers might cause history to repeat itself. In order to protect themselves from such danger, the landowners create a system in which the migrants are treated like animals, shuffled from one filthy roadside camp to the next, denied livable wages, and forced to turn against their brethren simply to survive.
The novel draws a simple line through the population—one that divides the privileged from the poor—and identifies that division as the primary source of evil and suffering in the world.
Although the Joads are joined by blood, the text argues that it is not their genetics but their loyalty and commitment to one another that establishes their true kinship. In the migrant lifestyle portrayed in the book, the biological family unit, lacking a home to define its boundaries, quickly becomes a thing of the past, as life on the road demands that new connections and new kinships be formed.
The reader witnesses this phenomenon at work when the Joads meet the Wilsons. This merging takes place among the migrant community in general as well: The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream.
The Dignity of Wrath The Joads stand as exemplary figures in their refusal to be broken by the circumstances that conspire against them. At every turn, Steinbeck seems intent on showing their dignity and honor; he emphasizes the importance of maintaining self-respect in order to survive spiritually.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the end of the novel. The Joads have suffered incomparable losses: Noah, Connie, and Tom have left the family; Rose of Sharon gives birth to a stillborn baby; the family possesses neither food nor promise of work. Yet it is at this moment Chapter 30 that the family manages to rise above hardship to perform an act of unsurpassed kindness and generosity for the starving man, showing that the Joads have not lost their sense of the value of human life.
Steinbeck makes a clear connection in his novel between dignity and rage. As long as people maintain a sense of injustice—a sense of anger against those who seek to undercut their pride in themselves—they will never lose their dignity.
The Multiplying Effects of Selfishness and Altruism According to Steinbeck, many of the evils that plague the Joad family and the migrants stem from selfishness.
Simple self-interest motivates the landowners and businessmen to sustain a system that sinks thousands of families into poverty. Aware that their livelihood and survival depend upon their devotion to the collective good, the migrants unite—sharing their dreams as well as their burdens—in order to survive.
Throughout the novel, Steinbeck constantly emphasizes self-interest and altruism as equal and opposite powers, evenly matched in their conflict with each other. In Chapters 13 and 15, for example, Steinbeck presents both greed and generosity as self-perpetuating, following cyclical dynamics.
In Chapter 13, we learn that corporate gas companies have preyed upon the gas station attendant that the Joads meet. The attendant, in turn, insults the Joads and hesitates to help them.
Then, after a brief expository chapter, the Joads immediately happen upon an instance of kindness as similarly self-propagating: Mae, a waitress, sells bread and sweets to a man and his sons for drastically reduced prices.
Some truckers at the coffee shop see this interchange and leave Mae an extra-large tip.John Steinbeck in the Santa Cruz Mountains – A history of Steinbeck's life living in the Santa Cruz Mountain's while writing The Grapes of Wrath 2 short radio episodes "Spring in California" and "Route 66" from The Grapes of Wrath, California Legacy iridis-photo-restoration.comher: The Viking Press-James Lloyd.
John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath Essay - John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath Throughout his book, the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck employs the principles of Foucault’s theory that power exists as a result of consent. This is particularly the case in the relations between the Joad family.
John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (/ ˈ s t aɪ n b ɛ k /; February 27, – December 20, ) was an American iridis-photo-restoration.com won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters," and many of his works .
In the roads where the teams moved, where the wheels milled the ground and the hooves of the horses beat the ground, the dirt crust broke and the dust formed.
air muffled sound more completely than fog does. The people, lying in their beds, heard the wind stop. They awakened when the rushing wind was gone.
They lay quietly and listened deep into the stillness. Then the roosters crowed, and their voices were muffled, and the people stirred restlessly in their beds and wanted the morning. In short, John Steinbeck explained his purpose in writing "The Grapes of Wrath," when he wrote to Herbert Sturtz, in You say the inner chapters were counterpoint and so they were—that they were pace changers and they were that too but the basic purpose was to hit the reader below the belt.