The Grapes of Wrath Critical Lens

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It is perceived throughout literature that characters within a novel are solely prompted by personal interests. Yet, we learn that they are sometimes driven throughout the work ascertaining a purpose larger than themselves. Whether it is an author’s use of literary elements (such as dialogue, characterization, or conflict) or even in their craft alone, it is inevitable in the two classic works: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In The Grapes of Wrath, we discover an unavoidable change in the character Rose of Sharon. When we are first introduced to Rose of Sharon, she is exceedingly dependent on her husband and primarily concerned about the well-being of her child. Yet as the novel progresses, Steinbeck innovates Rose of Sharon into a seemingly new character. This is also present with The Crucible’s John Proctor. He begins absent-minded, careless, and only uneasy about keeping his affairs with Abigail Williams silent. However, Arthur Miller worked to evolve Proctor’s character with his use of conflict, irony, and a creative mind-set. Both characters, Rose of Sharon and John Proctor, progress into nearly entirely new people all from the endeavor of the authors. The focus though, is how the authors are able to do it. While reading The Grapes of Wrath, readers surely immerse themselves into the novel and are easily captivated by Steinbeck’s immense details and enthralling plot line. We follow the Joad family as they travel cross-country during the Great Depression, and we learn about each of the characters individually. Rose of Sharon, for example, is first brought up at an early stage of her pregnancy. She had high hopes and aspirations for her family-to-be. It could have been recognized as though her wants were only for her personal interests, yet she was childbearing and had inescapable heartfelt dreams she couldn’t be reprimanded for. Although there weren’t many materialistic riches for the Joads, Rose of Sharon’s richness...
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