The Spiritual Journey of Tom Joad
If one did not learn from each step they take in life, where would the world be now? This question may be impossible to answer, and yet easy to imagine the possibilities. A journey is not only a voyage set on foot, but also an adjustment in mindset. The Grapes of Wrath, a novel by John Steinbeck, paints a vivid picture about a particular journey in which a character learns about life and accomplishment. The book not only tells the tale of the tragically poor, but also an uplifting sense of discovery. To embark on a spiritual journey, one must acquire aptitudes and a perspective, which compels the mind to have hope, and to strive for proud existence. Murder is something that society frowns upon. At the beginning of the novel Tom Joad, the central character, has learned that fact the hard way. He tells Jim Casy, a former preacher that he spent four years in prison for murdering a man during a fight at a dance. "'I killed a guy in a fight. We was drunk at a dance. He got a knife in me, an' I killed him with a shovel that was layin' there. Knocked his head plumb to squash.' Casy's eyebrows resumed their normal level. 'You ain't ashamed of nothin' then?' 'No,' said Joad. 'I ain't. I got seven years; account of he had a knife in me. Got out in four - parole." (Steinbeck 33). Tom seems to feel no remorse and his reason for killing the man is also less than dignified. He mind-set tells him that his misconduct is a ritual of life everyone must undergo. He also believes that looking toward the future or into the past is a waste of time and Tom prefers to devote his energy to the day at hand. After Tom is reunited with his family at this uncles farm, he learns that no matter what one's financial status is, humanity can always be demonstrated to others without thinking too much of oneself. For example, Tom witnesses an act of kindness that his mother could not pass up when she states, "There ain't enough. I'm a-gonna set this here kettle...
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