"We" Theme in Grapes of Wrath

Good Essays
The importance of the "we" theme throughout the novel is demonstrated many times in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. The Joads were only capable of making it to California, and continue living on, by sticking together. Ma Joad said many times that it was okay to lose anything besides the family that everything would always be all right as long as they still had each other. Casy had also reinforced this theme by being "a man of the people," throughout the story. After his time in the wilderness, he had discovered that humans did not have individual souls, but that we were all part of one great soul. All of these instances encourage the importance of helping one another, whether family or stranger. The "we" theme is exemplified through the importance of togetherness throughout the entire novel by all the episodes in which people were only capable of carrying on due to the help of others. The saving power of family and friendship held great significance in the novel. Through the many hardships the Joads endured on their journey to California, there were many times when members of the family had wanted to leave. However, Ma Joad, the citadel of the family, knew how vital it was for everyone to stay together. She says, "All we got is the family unbroke...I ain't scared while we're all here, all that's alive, but I ain't gonna see us bust up." Even when Rose of Sharon had mentioned dreaming of moving out with Connie, Ma had asked, "Ain't you gonna stay with us, the family?" Ma Joad could not stand to see the family fall apart, knowing that the only thing keeping them together were each other. Steinbeck shows Ma's heartache when she heard that Noah left the family when she said, "Ma was silent a long time. 'Family's fallin' apart. I don't know. Seems like I can't think no more." In the family's hour of darkness, Ma emerged as their savior. During a crisis, some people run away, some step aside to become followers, but Ma had been brave enough to step up and lead.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Themes in The Grapes of Wrath The Joads are on their way to California. The land which seems to be a heaven with great work, little white houses, and many acres of land. But the Joads soon find out that California may not be the paradise they dreamed of. Their journey to California will be full of hope and despair along with keeping their dignity in the midst of all the wrath. One of the biggest problems they will face is how poorly they will be treated. The one thing that made the Joads successful…

    • 2277 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Grapes of Wrath Theme

    • 466 Words
    • 2 Pages

    GOW Essay The main theme of The Grapes of Wrath is the idea that all men are part of the family of man. This is closely related to the philosophical movement of transcendentalism, what the author Ralph Waldo Emerson followed. There are four main points of the story that express this in the story; the ex-preacher’s search for purpose, Ma Joad’s understanding of working together, Pa turning from making money for himself to providing for the group and finally Tom’s decision to leave the family…

    • 466 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Grapes of Wrath Theme

    • 272 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Grapes of Wrath Theme As we read the novel, Steinbeck wants us to think about a lot of things. Like family, hope, power, a new beginning, love for the land and many more. A theme that has greatly impacted me is family; the close relationship of a family. The Joads are all very close to each other and love and care greatly for each other. Steinbeck has shown that in the Joad’s family the men make decisions and the women humbly listen to them. “And then Ma came out of the house, and Grandma…

    • 272 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cunningham LaVista ENG 0235- Period 4 12 September 2013 The Theme of Family in The Grapes of Wrath Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck portrays the overall theme of the importance of family is. The novel is set in the 1930s during the era of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, causing poverty nationwide, especially concentrated in farm towns. The protagonist of The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad, is on his way home to his farm in Oklahoma from jail when he realizes his family has been uprooted…

    • 733 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Power is so ingrained into our society it's almost second nature to rely on it. We use power to further ourselves by using the connections we form. Not everyone posses power, but they do try to display it on those who have even less than they do. The abundance or the insufficiency of power has been the main problem with the world since the beginning of time. Power imbalances the norms of the human race, it tips the odds in the favor of the endowed; in the process taking it away from those who aren’t…

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    A very common theme shown throughout the book Grapes of Wrath is group work. Basically staying together and working through hard times. This can relate to our very comon lifes of going through something hard but knowing you'll always have someone by your side. Like family or very close friends. There is a part in the book where Tom and and his family travel off to california and pass by there old house and walk in looking at the old pictures hanging on the empty open walls. The family then starts…

    • 582 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Writer, John Steinbeck, in his historical fiction novel, The Grapes of Wrath, describes the hardships that the poor migrant farmers faced during the depression as they moved westward, searching for a better life. Steinbeck’s purpose is to inform about the difficulties poor farmers faced during the depression, as well as to entertain the reader by the story of the Joads. He adopts a somewhat depressing, yet quite detailed, tone in order to fully showcase the troubles that the Joads face, the same…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Grapes of Wrath

    • 545 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Prof. 4/12/02 We as Americans have seen our share of violence whether it is first hand, through the media, or in history books. We have seen the pain and struggle that these people must go through in order to survive. This novel, The Grapes of Wrath, relates to some of the many times of violence and cruelty that this America has seen. During the Dust Bowl, hundreds of thousands of southerners faced many hardships, which is the basis of the novel called The Grapes of Wrath. It was written to…

    • 545 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Grapes of Wrath

    • 1619 Words
    • 7 Pages

    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…

    • 1619 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Grapes Of Wrath

    • 962 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Grapes of Wrath, describes the difficulty of migrant labors during the Great Depression. Written by, John Steinbeck, this novel went on to receive many awards. Generally viewed as Steinbeck's best and most striving novel, The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939. Stating the story of an expelled Oklahoma family and their fight to form a reestablished life in California at the peak of the Great Depression, the book captures the sorrow and anguish of the land throughout this time-period. The…

    • 962 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays