StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...

The Grapes of Wrath - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
In his famous book The Grapes of Wrath (1939) for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, John Steinbeck stated, "If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones." This statement accurately captures his perception of the poor and marginalized members of our society…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.9% of users find it useful
The Grapes of Wrath
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Grapes of Wrath"

Download file to see previous pages This paper will examine whether or not the themes of John Steinbeck in his novels -- particularly in relation to poverty - are still relevant in today's times and whether the message that he wished to impart is universal and timeless.
John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902. He pursued studies at the Stanford University but dropped out of university in a bid to jumpstart his writing career. He gained acclaim by writing about the common people toiling amidst the Great Depression, describing desperation and poverty with vivid and colorful images that touched the hearts of many.
In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck chronicled the travels of the Joad family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California, which the family believed to be a land holding much promise and fortune for them. Together with a thousand others making the mass exodus, they brave the dusty highways carrying only their dreams and fuelled only by their faith. During their trip, they simulate society and social norms. Leaders emerge, "rules" are formed, bonds are forged, and human behavior is exposed. But even at the start of the novel, Steinbeck already established the theme of desperation of the American farmer, and how they are left out in the cold by society. Says Seelye (2003):
Steinbeck uses Tom Jo...
But even at the start of the novel, Steinbeck already established the theme of desperation of the American farmer, and how they are left out in the cold by society. Says Seelye (2003):
Steinbeck uses Tom Joad's return from prison as a device emphasizing the alienation through dispossession of a great number of American farmers. The deserted, ramshackle Joad house is a mute witness to the impersonal, callous nature of American capitalism, which places profits over the well-being of hard-working tillers of the soil. At first identified with his family, Tom's progress thenceforth is deeper and deeper into the communal American soul, the larger family with which he becomes identified as his own disintegrates.
It is of course, not unusual for writers to use literature as a forum for economic analysis. Of course, much drama is injected and there are plot twists and turns that would differentiate it from a purely economic piece. However, it cannot be denied that throughout history, literature has always been used to make a commentary on a prevailing economic situation. A good example of this may well be Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude", where the climax of the story was the savage killing of plantation workers who participated in a strike to protest oppressive working conditions. According to Watts and Smith (1989):
It has long been noted that although literature and drama, like language, function as institutions in some ways separate from economic forces and conditions, they do play an important role in shaping public opinion and standards on many economic issues. In turn, economic thought and circumstances help shape and direct literature, drama and language. It is surprising then that few ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“The Grapes of Wrath Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1506665-the-grapes-of-wrath
(The Grapes of Wrath Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1506665-the-grapes-of-wrath.
“The Grapes of Wrath Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1506665-the-grapes-of-wrath.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Grapes of Wrath

An Illusory Birthright: The Loss of Home and Identity in The Grapes of Wrath

... it has intruded on the conscience of a new generation of Americans, for whom foreclosures and natural disasters are near-daily occurrences. Economic hardship, bank foreclosure and the destructive power of the natural world cast into sharp relief the themes of hardship and survival in John Steinbeck’s opus The Grapes of Wrath. But it is the love of the earth and the age-old human predisposition to identify self with place that imbues Steinbeck’s epic with such a powerfully relatable and timeless message. When the bank forces the Joads off their land, it aims a blow at elemental feelings of human security and well-being. For the Joad family and other tenant farmers who live at the mercy of the all-powerful bank, the loss of homestead...
11 Pages(2750 words)Research Paper

Explain how John Steinbeck promotes agonistic and secular humanism and give examples in The Grapes of Wrath

.... But it would be simplistic to classify The Grapes of Wrath as a Christian novel, for it deals with universal human concerns and universal avenues for salvation. Steinbeck makes it clear that such salvation is not an event in afterlife, but one accessible during the course of life itself. The last scene of the story, where Rose of Sharon, upon seeing the miserable starvation of an old man, offers him her breast milk (which her stillborn baby could not have). This act epitomizes the secular humanistic basis of the novel. Work Cited: Steinbeck, John, The Grapes of Wrath, first published in 1939 by The Viking Press-James Lloyd...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

The Grapes of The wrath

...y're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build—why, I'll be there. See? God, I'm talkin' like Casy. Comes of thinkin' about him so much." Throughout the book, different aspects of Tom Joad have been shown. He is not a flawless fictional character but has his share of good and bad traits. He has evolved as a human being by the end of the book, turning from a man ruled by his rage to a person who is now calm enough to look at things clearly. He struggles to lead a kinder life, one where he is calm and gentle, and his purpose to make other people’s life better. In effect, he changes greatly by the end. Works Cited Steinbeck, John. The grapes of wrath. Penguin Books,...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Grapes of Wrath Book Review

... by the strangers to share breakfast with them. Research on the book: I personally feel that this book can be regarded as an important historical work. Though it does not involve any real historical characters, it is a novel based on the historical events happened in the past. “The Grapes of Wrath is a novel which, both with regards to its making and to its content, is firmly embedded in its historical context.” (Bernd Steiner 2007) The characters are fictitious but the entire setting is real. The novel focuses on the real life of the migrant people on the background of Great Depression Age happened in America. Even though written as a contemporary novel by Steinbeck, it can have the attribute of a historical fiction. The author has given...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

The Moral Development of Tom Joad in the Grapes of Wrath

..., to interact with other criminals, or one is reformed. As such, I have a fascination for this topic and I am deeply interested in the moral and spiritual growth of individuals like Tom Joad. His moral development in “The Grapes of Wrath,” depicts his sacrifice for the benefit of his family, transcending his own independent personal desires. That passion gradually expands to encompass the entire humankind, particularly, the poor working class. No one is a born criminal. Poor economic conditions drive an individual to criminality and therefore, people belonging to the poor class are in majority in prisons. The conditions of the poor is so bad that the world outside is also like a prison for them. In the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Grapes of Wrath Steinbecks purpose

...an experienced authority in tackling the chronicle of events in The Grapes of Wrath. This is evident in the way he recounts the story of Joads, the situations that led to their being dispossessed of their only hope and cast to wander in California during the great depression (Zirakzadeh 599). Moreover, a great portion of his young adult life was spent working as a ranch hand in California Salinas’s valley. Here, he gained considerable knowledge regarding lives of migrant laborers in the farms (Zirakzadeh 601). He was, therefore, aware of the social inequalities affecting the labour force (Garcia 86). He had earlier written another novel titled In Dubious Battle in which he imprinted his reputation and...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Compare/contrast setting of The Grapes of Wrath and The Scarlet Letter

... on the setting of “Oklahoma, California and the points along the way” (Steinbeck p. 1), on the other hand, the setting in The Scarlet Letter is Massachusetts and Boston. The time on which The Grapes of Wrath is based on is the late 1930s, while the other book portrays a setting of the middle of the seventeenth century. Getting into the details, the first book is set in the time of the Great Depression and it talks about the sharecroppers and their struggles. The main focus of the novel is on a poor sharecropper family as well as the joads who were driven from their homes because of draught in Oklahoma. The industry of agriculture was then undergoing a lot of changes and this caused various economic hardships to the people such as searching...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Grapes of Wrath/Market structures

.... In this market, sellers are “price takers” because they are unable to set prices for their products due to the fact that there are very many producers participating in the market. Consequently, consumers also have minimal influence over the prices of products since there lacks a single group of consumers with the ability to dominate the demand of the products. In a purely competitive market, the conditions for entering the market by suppliers or sellers are very easy and neither are there any obstacles that limit entry into the market. Consumers will also continue buying products at the same rate even in the event that suppliers leave or enter the market. In the book “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, Tom Joad’s interlocutor...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

The Grapes of Wrath

...of injustice wherever he will hear of it. He is fed up with people manipulating and gaining undue advantage at the expense of the vulnerable (Waleson 1).With rumors of a nice job further northwards, the family is on the move again. This time round they are hopeful about a better future ahead. ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ reveal a lot from the Americans past. Little concern was shown on humanity. It was a society where the mighty could easily trample upon the poor in all manner of sort. This is a society where the strong manipulated the weak. At the same the society was hardworking with their main activity being agriculture. Works cited Flinn, John, Review, the Grapes of Wrath....
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Selfhood of American Literature in Passages of The Grapes of Wrath

... the boundary between the person and his world. Both literature and the media are full of these images of the self as separate from the society he moves in. It is not uncommon to find the theme of a story, whether in literature or in film, where man is facing an adversary outside of himself, if not larger than himself. It is understandable, as writers often draw upon their own experiences and insights to produce these stories. American literature, as surveyed in this class, is not any different from the rest. The three works to be cited in this essay are Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass, William Faulker’s A Rose for Emily, and three chapters from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In the preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman...
10 Pages(2500 words)Coursework
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Grapes of Wrath for FREE!

Contact Us