The Grapes of Wrath

Topics: The Grapes of Wrath, Henry Fonda, Great Depression Pages: 4 (1619 words) Published: December 17, 2013
Grapes of Wrath
Being part of a community is something everyone should relate to, yet hard times make people feel alone and alienated. They feel as if they can relate to no one, and no one has the same problems as them. However, in The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck writes about a family of migrants who lose everything. They are left homeless with no money, and are forced to travel to California, where they hope for work. Despite all their hardships they even grow closer as they learn the importance of family and community. They realise that life is not only about personal happiness, but the happiness and wellbeing of others. In The Grapes of Wrath, it is seen that hard times bring people together. This can be seen through the Joad family, the migrant community and how people’s thoughts and actions change throughout the story. By looking at the Joad family, it can be seen how the hard times off the Great Depression can still help bring a family together. At the beginning of the story the family is in pieces, all members want different things, some want to leave, while others want to stay. However, through the hardships of travel, their loss of friends and the obstacles they overcome, they learn to live together. The beginning of the journey is hard for the Joads, many do not want to leave the land; which they lived and worked on for years. Grandpa Joad even says, “This here’s my country. I b’long here. An’ I don't give a goddamn if they’s oranges an' grapes crowdin’ a fella outa bed even. I ain’t a-goin’. This country ain’t no good, but it’s my country. No, you all go ahead. I’ll jus’ stay right here where I b’long.”(Steinbeck 111). When this is said, one can see that Grandpa Joad has lived on this farm his whole life, and by leaving now he is leaving his whole life and past behind. This is a heartbreaking moment for members of the Joad family, but they realise they must move on; and Ma Joad says, “All we got is the family unbroken.” (Steinbeck 169). Ma Joad...

Cited: Britch, Carroll, and Cliff Lewis. "Growth of the Family in The Grapes of Wrath." Critical Essays on Steinbeck 's The Grapes of Wrath. Ed. John Ditsky. G. K. Hall, 1989. 97-108. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 124. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Dec. 2012
Owens, Louis. "The Culpable Joads: Desentimentalizing The Grapes of Wrath." Critical Essays on Steinbeck 's The Grapes of Wrath. Ed. John Ditsky. Boston: G. K. Hall and Co., 1989. 108-116. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 135. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.
Ditsky, John. "The Grapes of Wrath: A Reconsideration." Southern Humanities Review 13.3 (Summer 1979): 215-220. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 135. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Group, 2002. Print.
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