“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 June 2016

“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

Route 66 is the area where diners and gas stations are normally located and one of the diners around the area is owned by Mae and Al. A man enters the diner and wants to buy products for cheap prices and at first they refuse to accept and finally realized that they will compromise and give him the items for less. This era was the Great Depression and everyone was dealing with hard times with poverty and low employment. Families were trying to make ends meet and feed their families. The Joad family travels with the Wilson family who have been trying to get to California for the same purposes. The family members each have a dream that they want to achieve when they arrive at California, for example Rose of Sharon and Connor thought about moving into a new home . The family faces the fear of the family breaking down and they just want to make it work as a family and they want to remain close together. While on the way, the car breaks down and they try to fix the car. The car can symbolize the family’s current condition.

As they get closer, they have a better relationship with the other families that are also heading to the place that everyone believes will bring prosperity and happiness. They arrive near the desert in Arizona before arriving at their destination and they start to dream about the life they want in California. They start to think about the materialized things that they might set their eyes on and the landowners that they might encounter with. As they arrive at California, they are struck with the news of Grannam’s death the night before and fear that they cannot go on without her. The history of California becomes well known and tells about how the Americans took away the lnad that once belonged to the Mexicans that settled there. Soon, the people from Oklahoma which they call the “Okies” arrive and the people in California fear them because they think of them as armed and hungry.

The Okies decided to reside in shacks called Hoovervilles which represented the sign of poverty that existed in the Great Depression. People couldn’t afford good quality homes, so they had to build Hoovervilles named after the then President Herbert Hoover, who didn’t accomplish much while in office and the Depression was blamed on him. The Okies begin to start to fear the Californian landowners. The family begin to arrange Granma’s burial which decreases the money that they brought with them and Tom wants to find a job however there is hardly much to be found.

The workers receive less pay for long hours from their employers, the land owners. The land owners show dishonesty towards their workers and hardly pay them. Tom starts to run for his life after he tries to help his friend fight an officer and not risk his parole. Casy takes the blame and gets arrested so Tom wouldn’t be caught. The family face the harsh conditions from the police while in the shacks and the family faces more hardship as Connie leaves Rose of Sharon.

The Joads are starting to decrease more in hope as they face terrible events on their way to California and risk the dangers that are on the way. I believe that if they can hold onto each other that they can achieve their dreams and get closer to it. As hey encounter these events, they start to lose their grips and feel that they cannot go on.

Free “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck Essay Sample


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 13 June 2016

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