Grapes of Wrath- Supporting United States?

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Grapes of Wrath is the story of the Joad family and the hardships they endured during the Dustbowl or “Dirty Thirties”. Steinbeck consistently both condemns and celebrates the United States during this time period. He celebrates the family persevering through seemingly insurmountable obstacles as well as unions banding together for a common goal, protecting each other and fighting for their rights. He also condemns Hooverville(s) with its squalid conditions, the hostility of its inhabitants, as well as the harsh migrant lifestyle. The novel starts with Tom Joad making his way back to his family’s farm after serving four years in state prison for manslaughter. Tom discovers his old home is vacant and learns that his family is about to move to California in search of work as they have been evicted. Tom joins his family at his Uncle’s farm and together they start the journey to California. The journey is a grueling one and is met with many obstacles. The family encounters many people along the way- some good and some bad. The story continues on to show the various hardships the family endures in its endeavor to survive. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck woefully and consistently points out that many hardships are not from the economic times or the weather, but from people themselves. The Joads have to deal with disloyalty when Connie and Noah desert the family as well as the death of the two oldest Joad’s while on the road. In addition it seems that the majority of people they come across are selfish and nasty. They encounter fellow migrants who treat them with hostility and bully police officers like the one who killed Jim Casey- a family friend. The life of a migrant is one of destitution and is hard on the Joad family. They are constantly working on their truck to keep it operational and gasoline is increasingly expensive. Finding enough food for the family to eat is extremely difficult. Being on the road the Joads also have to worry about security. Many of the...
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