Grapes of Wraith by John Steinbeck portrayed the awakening of a man's conscience dealing with his troubling trials throughout the novel. The character that goes through this monumental change is Tom Joad, son of two tenant farmers from Oklahoma. Tom's conscience was changed from a loner who cared nothing about the people to a hardy leader of them. He first looked after his family on their trip that evolved into including the impoverished migrant farmers in California.
At the beginning of the novel Tom Joad has just been paroled after spending four years in a state prison. He stops at a roadside cafe looking for a ride when he sees a truck with a "No Riders" sticker on it. Tom's conversation with this trucker is his first witness to the suppression of an honest working man by the larger more wealthy corporations since his release from prison. The trucker tries to socialize with him at this point but Tom is too absorbed into his own interest in keeping to himself.
Arriving at his house with Jim Casey, Tom visits the abandoned house with one corner having been knocked in by a tractor. His family had been compelled to leave their land through repossession by the large corporations another example in Tom's life how the larger are trying to control the less fortunate. This land had been his family's source of pride and livelihood throughout his life with them and it's loss was the first sizable impact on Tom's conscience that would lead him to an awakening.
After visiting the land the Joad family had lived on for many years Tom and Jim traveled to his uncle John's house nearby. There Tom meets his family as they are making preparations to leave for California. Tom's family has already sold off every valuable possession they own while living under cramped conditions on old and soiled mattresses in a house not built to accommodate the size of the entire family. Tom realizes that a family cannot survive under these...