The Grapes Of Wrath Essay Examples

Essays on The Grapes Of Wrath

In Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, he tells the story of the thousands of people’s lives and experiences during the Great Depression through one specific family. During this time of change there was hope and the “American Dream” in the eyes of immigrants but it was suddenly overshadowed by the shocking truth of the fate for the migrating immigrants.

Steinbeck successfully depicts history about the Great Depression and all the hardships that the people affected faced. He uses the characters of the Joad family to illustrate and highlight the key factors of the Depression. Culture, economics, politics, and society all had a prominent role in this decline of history. By analyzing the text and paying keen attention to the historical points, one can connect the deeper significance of how this fictional story plays apart to this critical time in American history.

The Great Economic Depression in Novel “The Grapes of Wrath”
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The Great Economic Depression affected everyone, it affected countless people of all kinds of different backgrounds. It started out in America and spread to other countries around the world. It lasted from 1929-1939 and was one of the longest and deepest depressions of the 20th century. The Great Depression significantly influenced one writer, John Steinbeck. He wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, both of which were influenced by and takes place during The Great Depression. Both…...
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The Great Depression in Novel “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
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The Grapes of Wrath is a publication written by John Steinbeck. This book came out near the end of the Great Depression. This is a story about the Joads family. The Joads are a family who worked and lived on a farm but now have to leave their home because they are being forced out. Now the family trying to find work in California. The way Steinbeck chooses to write this story really make you think of all sides of…...
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Wrath in Novel “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
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The title of this novel is of one of many questions. Do we as the reader know what they are? Could it possibly be anger, hatred, regret, resignation, or bitterness? Or perhaps they are, however all these combined into one. In John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath he justifies his reasons for titling his novel areas follows. Steinbeck bolsters his claims by developing the storyline so that it builds up the justification for his novel’s title. Steinbeck’s purpose of…...
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John Steinbeck’s novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”
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John Steinbeck traveling through his native Californian Many writers in American literature try to instill the philosophy of their choosing into their reader. This is often a philosophy derived at from their own personal experiences. John Steinbeck is no exception to this. When traveling through his native Californian in the mid-1930s, Steinbeck witnessed people living in appalling conditions of extreme poverty due to the Great Depression and the agricultural disaster known as the Dust Bowl. He noticed that these people…...
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Applications Of Symbols In Grapes Of Wrath English Literature Essay
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The novel The Grapes of Wrath, the greatest work of John Steinbeck, the Nobel Prize victor in Literature in 1962, traces the hard journey of hapless husbandmans from the Dust Bowl poorness of Oklahoma to the rich farming area of California 's Salinas Valley.The general background of this novel was that: during the early 1930s, a terrible drouth led to massive agricultural failure in parts of the southern Great Plains. These countries were covered with loose, open surface soil. Crops…...
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Elizabeth Bishop and Poetry of Place
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The American poet Robert Frost wrote in his poem 'The Bear' 'Man acts more like the poor bear in a cage' (AA100, line 13) from this quite simple quote it is possible to fathom that he is suggesting man in his search for knowledge, acts like a trapped bear in a cage, and from this deduction he can't understand his place in the universe. A sense of location or place is considered important to most people and animals as it…...
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The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
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One strategy used to bind together the different pieces of the novel is juxtaposition. Subtleties are reliably and over and again between related among account and intercalary parts. Frequently an intercalary chapter will show a summed up circumstance that will either turned out to be all the more completely acknowledged or conveyed to an end by the occasions in the succeeding account section. For instance, Chapter 7 gives the monolog of a trade-in vehicle sales rep and is followed in…...
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The great American poet Robert Frost
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The great American poet Robert Frost wrote in his poem 'The Bear' 'Man acts more like the poor bear in a cage' (Frost, 1928, Line 13) from this quite simple quote it is possible to fathom that he is suggesting man in his search for knowledge, acts like a trapped bear in a cage, and from this deduction he can't understand his place in the universe. A sense of location or place is considered important to most people and animals…...
Robert Frost PoetryThe Grapes Of WrathWhy America Is Great
Sample Extended Essay as part of IB Diploma
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Extended Essay Sample on Literature This English extended essay investigates the question of women's role in the society which is described in the novel The Grapes of Wrath by American author John Steinbeck. The core of the article is exploring the role of females during the period of American Great Depression in the 1930s. It was the time when nation experienced famine, droughts, financial difficulties which lead to chaos in the country. John Steinbeck as the representative of Lost Generation…...
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The Grapes of Wrath
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There is more than one theme found in Pearl Buck’s 1931 The Good Earth, published by Pocketbook Press. The central idea of the work is a complicated intertwining of ideas that state that the Earth abides while man’s values change for the worse with the accumulation of wealth and the loss of connection to the land. John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, published originally by Viking Press, appears to voice the theme that the world is divided into…...
The Grapes Of Wrath
Grapes of Wrath Theme
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The main theme of The Grapes of Wrath is the idea that all men are part of the family of man. This is closely related to the philosophical movement of transcendentalism, what the author Ralph Waldo Emerson followed. There are four main points of the story that express this in the story; the ex-preacher’s search for purpose, Ma Joad’s understanding of working together, Pa turning from making money for himself to providing for the group and finally Tom’s decision to…...
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Conflict and Generosity Within the Grapes of Wrath
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When a family becomes a victim to severe debt, attitudes change, the family tends to grow apart, and the members must cope. This was common during the Great Depression in the 1930’s after the collapse of the stock market, and a plethora of families flooded to California in search of a promising future. Home to Tom Joad and his family, the deteriorating economy of the Great Depression depicts the changing attitudes of many families and how they adapted to this…...
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The Grapes of Wrath: Good vs Evil
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The Grapes of Wrath is a novel about the Dust Bowl migration in the harsh times of the Great Depression. It is the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, and it is also the story of thousands of similar men and women. The Joads are forced off their land, so they move West to California. When they reach California, they are faced with the harsh reality that it is not the Promised Land that they hoped in a…...
The Grapes Of Wrath
Family Unit in the Grapes of Wrath
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I dedicate this humble work to those whose blood runs in my veins; to my dearly loved parents and to: my dearest sisters all fundamental B.A student all my delighted and respected English teachers all those who will read this modest research paper ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I’m foremost grateful to my supervisor Dr. YASSINE Rachida whose guidance and continual encouragement have efficaciously helped towards the fulfillment of this modest research paper. I would like also to thank deeply whose efforts in class…...
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Grapes of Wrath
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The exodus of the Joad family from Oklahoma to the promised land of California. They were cheated by tradesmen along Highway 66, harassed by border guards at state boundaries, and on arrival were burned out of their makeshift camp by police deputies. One dark night the Joads wandered into Weedpatch Camp, a government refuge for migratory farm workers, where they found clean beds, indoor privies, food, friendship, and hope. "Oh! Praise God," whispered Ma Joad. "God Almighty, I can't hardly…...
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Jim Casy as a Jesus Christ Figure
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In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck uses several characters and situations to symbol something greater. The character, Jim Casy, is portrayed as an allegorical figure that represents Jesus Christ. Casy’s ideals and beliefs are very similar to those of Jesus Christ. Jim Casy is used to represent Jesus Christ, and to give the people going through a hard time a glimpse of hope and strength. Steinbeck portrays Jim Casy as Jesus Christ. The first notable comparison between them…...
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The Grapes of Wrath: Analysis of Chapter 25
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How does the writer of the Tribune article portray Bigger to fulfill his rhetorical purpose? In the Tribune article, "Negro Rapist faints at Inquest", the writer arouses a sense of fear towards Bigger Thomas by attacking him. The writer's language attacks Bigger Thomas and incites a belief that Bigger must be killed. The journalist's use of diction establishes a negative connotation about Bigger. The write describes Bigger as "a brutish Negro"(31) with a "[protruding]" (13) jaw and as "a beast"…...
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Masculinity portrayed in “The Great Gatsby”
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Masculinity is a well known stereotype that often defines men as being tough, strong, and having no emotions. In most cases, their work tends to identify their level of masculinity. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the male characters create their identities through their abilities to provide for their families. In these three texts, the males portray their masculinity by their roles as head…...
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The Impossibility of the American Dream
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America has come to represent ideals such as wealth, happiness, and freedom. Immigrants travel to America in search of the American Dream, constructed of these hopes, although the majority of foreigners and natives alike never discover it. Various American novelists comprehend this unachievable desire and explore its depths in books that have now become classics. Among these novels are John Steinbeck's _Of Mice and Men_ and the same author's _The Grapes of Wrath._ In the first, two men with the…...
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John Steinbeck’s use of Realism
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John Ernst Steinbeck has written many award winning novels, some of which has even been produced as plays that captured audiences everywhere. Steinbeck wrote about real life experiences using realism, characterization, and dreams to emphasize his points and make an impact on his readers in order to reform or change society. The realism used in Steinbeck's works is not only effective in informing the reader of circumstances that should be changed, but this nineteenth century literary style also creates great…...
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Marxism in the Grapes of Wrath bye John Steinbeck
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Capitalism was chosen as the best economic system when the founding fathers were trying to determine the future of America. A capitalist is someone who owns a production system and who gains money through misusing the effort of workers. Through capitalist economic relations, socialistic ideas are broken down to bias earnings of an individual. Through creating such divisions as the upper, middle, and lower class, the theory of Marxism analyzes what ways capitalism can be used against the people. In…...
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Optimism in The Grapes of Wrath
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At the end of the novel The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, it seems as though the Joads have nothing left to live for, however Steinbeck shows signs of optimism through symbols and biblical allusions. The Joads have gone through tremendous hardships throughout their entire trip to California to find work. They have lost several family members, have gone without work and lived on extremely low rations for months. At the height of their struggles, the Joads are without…...
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The Grapes of Wrath Review
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In the movie and or novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck approaches and takes on, many political and social problems that the depression held. One topic that seems to be overlooked is how the storyline has many examples of economic forces at work in the film. One of these economic forces, which are also one of the most apparent, in the film is the message of unemployment. At the opening of the film the family of the grapes of…...
The Grapes Of Wrath
Grapes of Wrath: Book and Film Comparison
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John Steinbeck was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and numerous short stories. Steinbeck is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men. Born in Salinas, California in 1902, Steinbeck spent most of his life in Monterey County, the setting of much of his fiction such as the novel Cannery Row, a novel depicting the canning Co in Monterey at the…...
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Effect of The Great Depression on Immigrants

The Great Depression had a substantial impact on the majority of American citizens but had the most devastating toll on immigrants. Agriculture and farming were many immigrants’ livelihoods and source of income. Most families lived on their farms and all had jobs to keep their land and food on the table. Their crops were the most important priority due to that being their only way to survive and take care of themselves along with their extensive families. Although, they were doing everything they possible could to maintain their field there were some things that they had no control over such as weather and the landowners from the banks. Drought suddenly and unexpectedly attacked Oklahoma and killed the flourishing crops until the fields were nothing but dry and lifeless, “The sun flared down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet” (1). With the unceasing drought and dead crops the families were forced off their land and evicted by the landowners. People did what they could to make money even if that meant working for the enemy. The banks and new machinery were seen as monsters and anyone who worked for them were seen as traitors (33-34). Since they could no longer afford to pay the banks, families had to find refuge elsewhere or would be soon homeless. As time quickly ran out many had to think fast and make a decision that would impact their whole families lives. Word quickly traveled fast about work opportunity in California along with the thriving crops and with little to no other information families packed up and traveled thousands of miles away on a whim. California held promise and hope for a better life, for people who had nothing left to lose this seemed like the best offer that they had and they did not waste any time.

The Joad Family Journey

The story told through the Joad family gives a real life perspective of what many experienced, the good and the bad. Through their journey the reader can see how the leading themes from the book connect to the leading themes of the Great Depression. Culture, economics, politics, and society are all prominent themes that recur throughout. Culture is conveyed through the characters and the treatment they receive from others. Readers soon learn the harsh discrimination migrating immigrants received constantly. While the family was traveling to the West they encountered many individuals. One man blatantly remarked what they were seen and thought of as, ‘Well, Okie use’ ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you’re a dirty son-of-a-bitch. Okie means you’re scum’ (205-206). Since many people from Oklahoma, like the Joad family, did not travel because of the lack of money to or need to they were not exposed to the term like “Okie”. Before the Depression and the new influx of people in need for work that word has no negative meaning behind it but after the Dust Bowl and all the issues that went along with it this negative connotation came to be due to others being livid to having outsiders come and take their jobs. In the bigger picture, the drought did not just affect the farmers from Oklahoma but everyone else too. By having the farmers transition to the West it had repercussions to the existing worker there; wages lowered due to all the desperate workers, and layoffs were inevitable. This is what sparked the hatred and violence that soon followed. As the traveling families continued on their journey to a better life they stayed at migrant camps instead of their cars or on the side of the road. There was a fee to stay nights but it was worth it due to the safe and clean environment by the government. Many migrant families would look out for eachother even though they had not much to offer, they only did because they knew exactly what they were experiencing because themselves where in the same situation. Seinfeld shows this act of selflessness when Mama Joad tries to feed starving children even with the shortage of food for herself and family, “Learnin’ it all the time, ever’ day. If you’re in trouble or hurt or need – go to poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones” (376). She advises how people like you will look out for you, a sense of community which the migrants did have. Although they offered protection it could not completely shield them from the brutality they received. Angry natives would still go to the camps to riot and try to cause problems for the travelers and not even the police could be trusted.

Corruption Issue in the Novel

Corruption during this time was at an all time high. With the economy drastically declining more everyday it resorted to many taking advantage of the situation and the ones struggling. Knowing how desperate migrants were people knew how to exploit them because they knew exactly where they wanted to go and how badly they wanted to be there. In a prime example in the novel the Joad family went to a car mechanic to purchase a new vehicle after theirs died, “Goin’ to California? Here’s jus’ what you need. Looks shot, but they’s thousan’s of miles in her” (66). He was deceiving them by trying to sell them a car that was not worth the asking price because he knew how badly they needed one to get to California. Since he was the only option for a car they had to pay the asking price due to lack of supply with their demand high. Many did this because the economy was deteriorating and they needed as much money as they could get disregarding others in need to get what they want.

The politics were also another corrupt field during this time. Even the police, who’s jobs are to serve and protect, were undependable and also dangerous. The corrupted police also viewed Oklahoma migrants as lesser and did not deserve the opportunity that could be offered for them in California. They would harass and threatened migrants, if they rebelled or be difficult they would blacklist them which would cause them to never get hired. By doing this they made sure they had dominance and kept the power over the travelers. Blacklisting was not the only threat that the migrants received from the police, the officers threatened to burn down the only shelter they had. The advice new migrants would get since they have never experienced this before is to keep their head down and mind their own business, “Well, when the cops come in, an’ they come in all a time, that’s how you wanta be. Dumb—don’t know nothin’. Don’t understan’ nothin’. That’s how cops like us. Don’t hit no cops. That’s jus’ suicide. Be bull-simple” (248). It was an unwritten rule of keep as little interaction with the police as possible because where the migrants are standing, the cops are law and they’ll always lose against them.

Characters’ Realizations

With all of this disarray that they were enduring on their travels it seemed to them that they couldn’t get to California fast enough, but as time went on they soon realized that their dream might not be as perfect as it previously seemed.

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