The Grapes Of Wrath Essay Themes

The Grapes Of Wrath Essay Themes-90
Sandry denounces the Saturday night parties as sin.

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Although the novel never uses this exact word (it is a term used by Ralph Waldo Emerson, though perhaps not precisely in this manner), the concept is clearly present as early as Chapter 4, when Jim Casy speaks of his realization that "all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of." Because all people are connected in this fundamental way, the distinctions between families, which once seemed so important, are radically diminished.

Readers will note how Ma Joad-who, it must be pointed out, begins with an understanding that all people must help each other-must fight to hold on to this understanding as the crucible of her experiences tempts her to abandon it.

The theme of hope develops through the character of Ma Joad who struggles to keep her family together despite that the Joads have encountered many deaths, hardships, and deprivations.

In fact, at the end of the narrative, the author describes the family as barely surviving (Steinbeck 455).

She does, however, admit to wondering: "They say there's a hun'erd thousand of us shoved out. When Tom says good-bye to Ma in Chapter 28, we seem to learn that anger can, in fact, yield positive fruit when joined to a knowledge of the "oversoul," the one human family, to which we all belong.

If we was all mad the same way, Tommy-they wouldn't hunt nobody down-" Here, Steinbeck has raised the question of the proper role of anger-appropriately enough, considering the book's title (which echoes images of divine judgment in both Jeremiah and Revelation -20, as well as in the first stanza of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" [Julia Ward Howe, 1861] . Tom's anger drives him to fight not only for himself but for all the oppressed.Conversely, the Joads display an optimistic mood because as the family expands, the family members get to recognize the need to identify with the group, and thus, they begin to realize the importance of group consciousness.Hope is also derived from the family’s long and challenging journey, whose experience enlightens some family members such as Ma Joad, Pa Joad, Tom, Jim Casy, John, and Rose of Sharon.Her cryptic smile suggests that she has come to the same understanding as had Casy: that all folks are "my own folks." Home is being with our "own folks," broadly-and, so the novel argues, most properly- defined as our fellow human beings.In Chapter 4, Casy, when confessing his struggles over sex, raises the issue of a dichotomy between flesh and spirit which reappear throughout the novel.This conflict presents a clear picture of the characteristics of economic injustices in America during that time.From a social perspective, the novel describes the economic disasters that arise after the migrants are forced to forgo their agricultural activities not only because of the natural disasters, but also because of the establishment of larger farms by the landowners, business people, and the banks.Such frank speech counteracts the harmful speech found in the book-take as one instance the recurrent slang term "Okie"-and empowers people to take action to face their situations, whether that action be striking for just working conditions or simply moving on in search of safety. The nature of anger is also a central theme in the book.Following the glad reunion of mother and son in Chapter 8, for instance, Ma Joad asks Tom if his time in prison has made him angry-in her words, "poisoned mad." Tom assures her that it has not, but he does show anger when he thinks about "what they done to our house." Ma urges Tom not to fight "'em" alone.Actually, the family members are optimistic that the end of their long journey will come after realizing the American dream (Steinbeck 65).As a result, the desire to have a good life coupled with other motives encourages some family members to fight harder as opposed to those who are unable to see the end result of the journey including Al, Connie, and Noah.


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