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Grapes of Wrath

By meredithbailey Jan 12, 2013 787 Words
Grapes Of Wrath written by John Steinbeck illustrates the hard ships families went through during the Dust Bowl. Families were forced to leave their farms, jobs, and lives to go find work elsewhere. John Steinbeck shows the struggles through the Joad family, he takes the reader on their journey from leaving Oklahoma to arriving in California. While this family could have given up hope and given into despair they kept on pushing. They never gave up hope despite all of the struggles they faced. Some signs of hope that appeared in the novel were looking for jobs, Rose of Sharon suckling the man, and making it to California.

Along the Joads journey to California they were constantly searching for work along their way. The family needed a job to help pay for their car troubles along with food. Throughout their journey they acquired a couple jobs here and there but nothing to give them enough money. The jobs the family did happen to acquire they got paid barely enough to feed themselves at night.”– we're half starved now. The kids are hungry all the time. We got no clothes, torn an' ragged” (5.13). When the family could no longer take it anymore a new job would come up and they would be able to feed themselves once again. They had to keep their American Dream alive while traveling to their bright new home. If the Joads would have given up hope throughout their journey they would have broke down and been forced to starve to death, instead they kept pushing and kept looking for work.

At the very end of the novel Rose of Sharon does an act most would hesitate to do. She had just had her still born son and her husband had left her. They were living in a box car during a huge storm that lasted for days. They go on in search for dry land and find a barn. The Joads go into the barn to find a young boy and his father very sick and starved. The father had not eaten for days giving all of his food to his son. “Say he wasn’t hungry, or he just ate. Give me the food. Now he’s too weak. Can’t hardly move” (30.454). The father could no longer digest food therefore needed only liquid. Once Rose of Sharon’s family left for a moment she walked over to the man and begins suckling him. She has given not only that family hope but also herself. By feeding this man she has given him strength to push on with his son, and giving her assurance that even though she has lost her child everything will be okay. At the end of the novel it said Rose of Sharon smiled, letting the reader know that everything would turn out okay for her.

One last sign of hope is the Joads actually making it to California. On their journey they had faced death within their family, run ins with the law, awful stories of California, and harassment. As easy as it could have been to just turn around and go back to Oklahoma to salvage what they could, they didn’t. They kept pushing to reach their dream to live and work in California. The Joads were often told stories about families starving and not finding jobs in California but they just ignored it saying maybe their story will be different than theirs. The Joads also had reached several stops where they could have been separated but they refused to lose each other. They wanted to stick together and make it to California together. And that is what they did. Some signs of hope that appeared in the novel to reassure us that humanity’s on-going struggle with adversity will be successful were looking for jobs, Rose of Sharon suckling the man, and making it to California. The Joad family had made it to California but not all in one piece. Along the way they had lost loved ones. They had proved however that even if awful things happen just keep pushing and it would all pay off in the end. They believed that they would make it and held onto the little things that gave them hope and that is what pushed them through this journey. John Steinbeck’s novel had many lessons and meanings in it, one thing that the reader can learn from this book is that no matter what happens stick with the ones you love and never give up faith. “Strange things happen… some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that faith is refined forever” (12.122).God will always look out for those who never give up hope or faith.

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