Summary Of Tom Joad's Migration In The Grapes Of Wrath

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During the thirties, in time of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl a great migration took place in which families from Oklahoma and other states moved into the West like ants searching for a new anthill. In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad and his family made a journey towards California after being driven out of their farm. Faced with hunger, poverty and weariness the Joad family and thousands of other migrants were discriminated and alienated from society simply because of their class.
The Joad family cultivated their land in Sallisaw, Oklahoma and struggled to make ends meet as Oklahoma began to suffer immense damage from the Dust Bowl. This was no importance to the Bank when they tractored off families like them. They were fearful …show more content…

When arriving to California they found no better circumstances than back home. Ironically, Tom had hoped to find himself in better conditions after being released from prison but instead, he and his family found nothing but hate. Tom Joad and his family were poor people so they were distinct from Californians. They camped in dirty villages called Hooverville’s and survived off little food and money. Such struggle was seen when families would give up everything to survive, for instance, “one family traded a doll their kid had for a gallon…why, one fella wanted to gimme his shoes for a gallon.” They differed in their way of living, talking and appearance perhaps because they were from Oklahoma. They had …show more content…

For instance, many said that “goddamned Okies [were] dirty and ignorant… degenerate, sexual maniacs…thieves.” With these accusations they hoped to justify their hate as a way to give them superiority within society. Californians hated migrants because they had desperation to live and succeed on their land. They knew that migrants like Tom were capable of working for little pay and if thousands of them worked for so little then Californians would have no jobs. This they feared because they, “who had never been hungry saw the eyes of the hungry…saw the flare of want in the eyes of the migrant and perhaps heard how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed.” Such cruelness helped Tom realize what the “beautiful” California was really like, instead of what was portrayed on handbills, which had made him blind. This helped him question society’s unfairness, such that he went away inspired by his friend Casy, a former Preacher, to protest for higher

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