Economic Crisis In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Following the roaring twenties era, due to many factors, an economic crisis occurred. This crisis has now been named the Great Depression. Dust storms and bank foreclosures displaced people from their jobs and homes. In an attempt to start over and get far away from their now ruined lives, tens of thousands of landowners from the southwest fled to California. John Steinbeck writes about this conflict in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath follows a family from Oklahoma who is traveling westward in hopes of starting a new life. The novel is written about the hardships faced by migrants through the Joads. In order to make readers feel more passionate about characters, Steinbeck creates connections to the Bible, through the journey to the promised land, Ma and Rose of Sharon…show more content…
Rose of Sharon is also dynamic, as she was only concerned with her baby and now cares for others. The reader can identify how Rose of Sharon has changed in the final scenes of the novel. Rose of Sharon attempts to nurse the old man back to life by “loosening one side of the blanket and baring her breast” (Steinbeck 455). Rose of Sharon bares her breast for the old man in an attempt to nurse him back to health. This iconic scene is biblical, as it closely resembles Mary nursing baby Jesus. The reader makes this connection while reading this scene, and feels for the characters. Martha Cox elaborates on this scene, as she agrees that most “critics have suggested that Rose of Sharon’s milk symbolizes the Eucharasit and thus resurrection.” (Cox 3) The final scene of the novel solidifies the connection between Rose of Sharon and the Great Mother. Rose of Sharon now has the power to preserve or destroy life, and she chooses to preserve it. This scene leaves the reader feeling hopeful for the Joads.The significance of this scene is clear, as it will forever stick in the reader’s
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