Literary Paper of The Grapes of Wrath by SteinbeckSteinbeck wrote many wonderful books but a great classic is one titled TheGrapes of Wrath. This is a story of a family called the Joads, and a tale of acourageous family who sought security and family unity. In my paper I will examine the different ways the Joads tried to keepunited whether just within their immediate family or eventually with all theothers who shared the same struggles and sufferings. Steinbeck’s dialogue and description’s of the dusty roads, the mensquatting in the dirt drawing pictures while making major decisions, the way inwhich they traveled all puts you right into the middle of the family.
Onebecomes aware and wants to be a part of there unity and their long for security. Steinbeck’s use of the characters dialect is astoundingly excellent andunmistakenly realistic of the Joad’s culture. Without this dialogue, it wouldnot be as intense and vivid. J. Homer Caskey, in “Letters to the Editor” says,”Steinbeck’s knowledge of the forces which holda family together and the forces which cause itto disintegrate.
He understands that familycouncils are an important part of the lives ofthe Joads. “The major theme is the struggle and survival of the Joad family from thetime they lost their home, to the unity they felt and soon were a part of awhole community, one big family, and one big soul. This theme is particularlyexemplified by Ma Joad, who played a major part. The Joads encountered a constant struggle to keep the family going andintact. When Ma knew that gramma Joad was dying she told her that there wasnothing she could do, that the family needed to get across the desert that night.
It was not until they were across the desert that she let the family know thatGramma Joad had died during the night. Ma Joad was the strong but yet understanding one of the family. Shelistened to pa and obeyed his wishes, until she had to be strong and stand herground. Ma was convinced and had to be forceful with pa and show him that shewas capable of making decisions. After this confrontation with pa the otherfamily members began to see ma differently and looked to her for the finalapproval. John Steinbeck, in “The Grapes of Wrath” says,”On’y way you gonna get me to go is whup me.
. . Ma Joad takes on Pa in order to keep thefamily from going off too far. “Tom Joad represented the man of the family and provided support through hisstrength. I believe that Tom Joad kept the family in line.
As they went onwith their trails, the fact that he had been in prison kept the whole familyfrom doing anything that might incriminate or send him back. They held theirtongues at times when they encountered prejudice and degrading comments frompeople. Tom’s role in the story was that of one to look up to, and even though hespent time in prison he still held on to the big brother figure. Gary at first seemed to be a loner, although once he was made to be a partof the family, he began to look within himself and to the meaning of life. Heseemed to find a new direction in life.
John Steinbeck, in “The Grapes of Wrath” says,”I ain’t gonna baptize. I’m gonna work i thefiel’s, in the green fiel’s, an I’m gonna benear to folks. I ain’s gonna try to teach ’emnothin, I’m gonna try to lear. Gonna learn whythe folks walks in the grass, gonna hear ’emtalk, gonna hear ’em sing. Gonna listen to kidseatin mush.
Gonna hear husban an wife a-poundin’the mattress in the night. Gonna eat with ’em anlearn. ” Gonna lay in the grass, open an’ honestwith anybody that’ll have me. Gonna cuss an’ swearan’ hear the peotry of folks talkin.
All that’sholy, all that’s what I didn understan. All themthings is the good things. “Rose of Sharon had her dreams and did nothing but wonder about what herdreams would bring. She wanted Connie to study at night and work at the icestore. She wanted the best for her with her baby.
She constantly dreamed ofthem in their nice little house all alone as a family. Rose of Sharon onlythought of herself, her baby and her dreams. She gave no interest to the family,contributed nothing but the burden of her dreams and selfishness. Until sheexperienced the self fulfilling pleasure of helping someone else and realizedthat sometimes helping someone else can be more rewarding. It is said that this story is fiction, an invention of the human mind, butto a great degree it is true.
The lives of so many people were tractored offthe land. Survival forced them to accept their fate and to battle for thesurvival of the family unit. James N. Vaughan, in “The Commonweal” says,”The story of the disastrous move to the westis a story of death, desertion and hunger. Itis the story of . .
. . of whose existence has beendestroyed for reasons of which they had but thedimmest understanding. “In conclusion, as the Joads continued their struggle for survival, theybecame a living and challenging part of the forgotten American dream.
“There isa sense that man can survive in nature if he is, in turn, himself natural. “ENDNOTES J. Homer Caskey, “The Saturday Review, Letters to the Editor,” Ohio University, (May 1939): Vol. XX John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, (New York, NY 1992) p. 230, John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, (New York, NY 1992) pp. 127-128 James N.
Vaughan, “The Commonweal,” (July 1939) Vol. XXX, 10c No. 14BIBLIOGRAPHY Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath, New York, NY 1992 Caskey, Homer J. “The Saturday Review, Letters to the Editor,” Ohio University (May 1939) Vaughan, James N. “The Commonweal,” (July 1939)