During the great depression, the midwest underwent a long drought. Exposed dry earth swept away with the wind and caused huge dust storms that prolonged the dry weather. With the lowered selling prices and the lack of crops the farmers had some major economic trouble. In Black Blizzard and John Steinbeck 's Grapes of Wrath, the literature develops the ideas of the poor distribution of wealth within the populations and the social aspects of people of different economic class. Social differences arise in the wealthy, the employed, and the unemployed throughout this period of hardship. The differences of each economic class show the boundaries of how far people sympathise with those with nothing.
Since the book came out in 1939, everyone has had a opinion on the ending to John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. It has a very controversial ending, that Steinbeck thought would name the last nail into the coffin, so to speak, on how bad the dust bowl and moving west really was. The ending starts when the Joad family is threatened with a flood, so they make their way to a old barn where they find a boy and his old father. The boy says his father is starving, and that he can’t keep anything solid down. He needs something like soup or milk. Ma and Rose of Sharon look at each other and they agree that Rose of Sharon should use her milk, that she doesn’t need because her baby was stillborn, and feed this old man. Everyone gets out of the barn, and she feeds him. Now the weirdest part of all is that while she is feeding him, she starts to smile a mysterious smile. There are so many things that are just not right in any
John Steinbeck grew up in a booming farming community in Salinas, California; Steinbeck’s father was a manager of a flour mill, and his mother was a former school teacher. He had a comfortable childhood until his teenage years when his father lost his job at the flour mill and opened a feed and grain store that would fail. The Steinbeck family’s finances did not begin to stabilize until John Steinbeck was in college at Stanford University when Steinbeck’s father became the county’s treasurer. John Steinbeck’s own family dynamics have had an impact on the role of family that he establishes for the protagonist in his novel The Winter of Our Discontent. Aspects of Steinbeck’s family background are similar to the protagonist’s, Ethan Hawley, family dynamic; Steinbeck much like Ethan came from an initially stable family until adversity was encountered. The difference between the Steinbeck family and the Hawleys is that the Steinbecks fought
The tone of chapter 11 in John Steinbeck's, “The Grapes of Wrath,” is sympathetic, sad and hopeless. His word choice and syntax show how the sad houses were left to decay in the weather. His use of descriptive words paints a picture in the reader's mind. As each paragraph unfolds, new details come to life and adds to the imagery. While it may seem unimportant, this intercalary chapter shows how the effects of the great depression affected common households.
During the Great Depression, the nation as a whole was stripped of financial security and forced into a survivalist way of living. This changed the ways that people interacted with one another and the overall mentality of society. In the Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family is torn from their land and find themselves with nothing, a common story for migrant farmers of that time, derogatorily called “Okies” by Californians. But this is not the only group that is struggling, the entire county was in a state of panic and bruteness, no matter how “well off” they seemed to be. This caused the formation
Grapes of Wrath clearly illustrate the class struggle between workers and the upper class. Steinbeck displays the discrimination between the migrant people and landowners. Migrant workers are handled worse than animals, family’s or “Okies” are starving as food is wasted by the wealthy and the landowners maintain control through violence. “What do you want us to do? We can't take less share of the crop – we're half starved now. The kids are hungry all the time. We got no clothes, torn an' ragged. If all the neighbors weren't the same, we'd be ashamed to go to meeting.” (Pg 33). Farmers are trying to reason with the landowners, their whole community is out of money and are struggling to make a living. Grapes of Wrath show the unfair working situations that migrants face when they arrive in California. Land Owners are the most wealthy and powerful having the ability to pay their workers a poor wage. In the Grapes of Wrath, many Americans lose their homes, jobs and life savings, forcing them to move and leave behind their land in hopes of finding a prosperous place to live. The Great Depression (1929-1939) was the worst, deepest and longest lasting economic collapses in the industrialized western world. The Joad family is planning to move to California, but some of them have doubts and attachments that make them contemplate whether or not it is the right choice. The Joads find their motivation by helping each other through tough situations. Steinbeck shows the determination of the human spirit
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's award winning book based on the lives of people during the, Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath, has experienced a lot of criticism since its release in 1939. From the time it was published all the way up until present times, some people have found much at fault in this realist book, while other people recognize that their are many true parts of Steinbeck's book. Many people consider this book to be Steinbeck's greatest piece of work, while the overall response to it was good, there was some negative outlooks on a few aspects of the books. The Grapes of Wrath began in Oklahoma, starring the Joad family who were attempting to get to California where they had hope to begin their new life after leaving
Throughout the novel, “The Grapes of Wrath,” by John Steinbeck, the roles of Ma Joad begin to change gradually as the story goes on. Pa began the story as the leader of the family, but as they travel to California, Ma begins to be more and more in charge of what the family does and where they will travel to next. She is also the one who attempted to keep the family together as much as she possibly could. Even though she is a female, Ma Joad's strong and powerful leadership helps the family to continue to be a whole, yet be the protective feminine mother they knew to love. By standing up to many of the men, making the decisions of when the family should leave a specific camp, and even making the decision to tell Tom Joad to leave for his own and his family's safety shows her guidance through the family's adventure. Ma Joad functioned as the protagonist by keeping her family together and taking over the leadership, which in the end, gets them to California.
In my opinion, Ma Joad is the hero of “The Grapes of Wrath”. She is the main force of the force of the family and the one who kept them moving. And although she is the most loving member of the Joad’s, she hides her pain and fear. Without Ma, the family would not have been together at the end of the novel. She can be grouped into many different types of heroes such as, Catalyst, Group Oriented, and Matriarchal Family Strength. In “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck makes Ma Joad the leader of the family to convey she is one main heroes of the novel.
As an astute philosopher once declared “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Aristotle). This idea is called synergy and it means that teamwork leads to great benefits. This teamwork is demonstrated in the movie Dead Poet’s Society when Mr. Keating repeats “Or if you are slightly more daring O Captain, my Captain” (Dead Poets Society). He forces his class to work together and the results are astonishing. Characters in American literature do the same as they endure bad situations, which causes them to seek help from others and ultimately realize that they’re part of the oversoul. Those bad situations greatly impacted the characters and their actions. Seeking help was the only option after those situations occurred. After receiving
In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, the chapters alternate between two perspectives of a story. One chapter focuses on the tenants as a whole, while the other chapter focuses specifically of a family of tenants, the Joads, and their journey to California. Chapter 5 is the former and Steinbeck does an excellent job of omniscient third person point of view to describe the situation. Chapter 5’s main idea is to set the conflict and let the readers make connections between Steinbeck’s alternating chapters with foreshadowing. Steinbeck is effectual in letting readers make connections both to the world and the text itself with the use of exposition, and symbolism.
In the Grapes of Wrath, two women appear in the beginning of the novel and was continuously having an active part of the story. As the story progresses, it has shown that the men slowly start to lose hope while strong women appear. Ma Joad and Rose of Sharon being to show a more dependable side to them to help keep the family together.
In the painting, Kiss Me and You’ll kiss the ‘Lasses, Lily Martin Spencer used a woman holding a spoon and the title to demonstrate the beginning of challenging gender roles which relates to John Steinbeck’s cynical tone about gender roles and stereotyping in The Grapes of Wrath, thus proving that despite how far society seems to have come when it comes to gender equality, people still endure discrimination and stereotypical pressures today because of the sex they were born into. The woman in the picture is smiling at whoever is painting her or whoever is looking at her. The person, most likely a man, is tempted to kiss her but she warns, with the title, that if he does so she’ll hit him with the spoon she has in her hands. Also it’s ironic that the lady who
The term “American dream” was coined in 1931 by James Adams. It is defined as the dream of a land where life is fuller and richer for everyone. This dream has been shared by millions of people all over the world since America was discovered. People such as European immigrants, and even people born in the Americas who wanted to expand west. The Joad family’s journey is a prime example of the determinism families had to try to live the American dream. Through John Steinbeck's plot in The Grapes of Wrath, the struggle of the typical American dreamer is depicted in the Joad’s attempt to move to California for a better life.
The family is the basic unit of the society. They are peoples’ pillar of strength, inspiration, encouragement and love. From the very beginning of one’s life, the family played a very important role in the overall development of the child – his personality, interpersonal relations, the way he saw himself, and his viewed of the world. The family then is not just a group of people who shared the same name and lived under the same roof. Rather, they are people who loved each other, interacted, and helped each other grew into better individuals.