The Family In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The novel starts off with the Joads having to endure the effects of the Dust Bowl, which forces the family to move to California to start a new life. When they reach California, their hopes for a better life doesn’t fulfill their expectations. They end up having to face the troubles of social injustice. The family has to change the way they look at themselves because they no longer live a normal life.
Of all the members in the Joad family, Tom Joad has the most prominent change throughout the novel. Steinbeck starts off the novel with Tom just recently getting freed from jail and returning home. When he meets his family again for the first time in four years, Tom becomes someone who lives in the present and not thinking about the future. This
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Burt and Brian Railsback also sees the Joad family, especially Tom, change as a result of their findings from this plight. Burt writes about the great meaning behind The Grapes of Wrath, and what the novel is trying to communicate. He says that Steinbeck successfully generated a universal meaning with “a direct statement of social protest asking only outraged indignation” (Burt). He argues that Steinbeck conveys that in trying to resist these injustices, one must provoke action and not just succumb to these forces. This includes Tom, who becomes a changed man after seeing injustice inflicted upon his family. Tom starts to fight for what is right and not just what benefits himself. Burt even claims that Tom Joad demonstrates his ability to alter his personality for the greater good of others. He expresses Tom’s change as a “break out his isolation for activism, sustained by a greater good that transcends family loyalty and personal protection” (Burt). After Tom’s release from jail, he starts to care more about his family member and protecting not only himself now but also his family. Tom’s change becomes more of an eminent character trait of his after the Joads reach California. He starts to take charge and fight for what is right and not just for the benefit of
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