How The Grapes of Wrath represents the “American Dream”
The United States is a melting pot of all cultures, races, religions and nationalities. People come here from all corners of the globe to live freely and exercise the rights they might not have had in the places they left. For some people these new freedoms are the ultimate goal, they want to live free, live comfortably, and love family. Some see America as the land of opportunity, they want to make it rich beyond their wildest dreams. They wants the cars, homes, vacations, and objects that the rich and famous have on TV. Neither one of these ideals are bad or wrong, because the ”American Dream” is a very broad term. It is not a specific goal, but rather the fight to become successful by one’s own definition and to do so with dignity. In The Grapes of Wrath the story of the Joad family embodies that definition very well because during their journey to California they prided themselves on putting family first and working with dignity.
John Steinbeck’s is a realistic fictional account of a family displaced from Oklahoma by the dust bowl during the Great Depression. It is arguably the most effective social document at a time where the subject matter was relevant. (Ebert 3) It is regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time and Roger Ebert said, “The novel and movie do last, I think, because they are founded in real experience and feeling.” (Ebert 13)
The Joad family along with Jim Casy left behind everything to head out west in search of a better life. Tom Joad, the protagonist, and his family move from one camp to another, struggling for food and work while also trying to keep the family together. The latter effort gets harder as both grandparents die, Rose of Sharon gives birth to a stillborn, and two family members leave the group to go out on their own. Things seem grim and even the preacher Jim Cays seems to lose his faith, “So maybe there ain’t no sin, and there ain’t no virtue....
Cited: Ebert, Roger. "The Grapes of Wrath." Rev. of The Grapes of Wrath, Dir. Jon Ford. RogerEbert.com. 13 Nov 2011. Web.
Flinn Sr., John C. "The Grapes of Wrath." Rev. of The Grapes of Wrath, Dir. Jon Ford. Variety.com. 13 Nov 2011. Web.
Nugent, Frank S. "The Grapes of Wrath." Rev. of The Grapes of Wrath, Dir. Jon Ford. The New York Times. 13 Nov 2011. Web.
Heilman, Jeremy. "The Grapes of Wrath." Rev. of The Grapes of Wrath, Dir. Jon Ford. MovieMartyr.com. 13 Nov 2011. Web.
Schwartz, Dennis. "The Grapes of Wrath." Rev. of The Grapes of Wrath, Dir. Jon Ford. 13 Nov 2011
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