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Powerful Images in The Grapes of Wrath Essay

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   The Grapes of Wrath is an important commentary on society and humanity, and is intended to evoke intense feelings from readers.  John Steinbeck, the author, attempts to create many true emotions about the book and the reality that it was based on.  Steinbeck uses images that are very effective and have a large impact on how the characters are perceived.  Some of the images show the dismal abyss that the Joad family survived in, and others show hope, endurance, and strength.  Some of the most effective images are those of sadness, failure, and devastation, which cause the connection between the unforgiving and tormented land and the anguish and persecution which the resolute Joads must face constantly throughout their lives and the many obstacles they must face over time.  

 

The beginning of the book is full of damage to the earth, and how the connection between man and earth causes the characters to reflect the images of the world around them.  The men have become part of the land, which they gain their livelihood from, and it is important that the men are strong and sure, even though Mother Nature is fickle and is devastating them.  The dust storm had not even become to slow, and the farmers were unsure and waiting, "the dawn came, but no day" (2). The men were afraid, even though they could never say that they were, yet their strength was as sure as the storm which surrounded them.  "In the morning the dust hung like fog and the sun was as red as ripe new blood" (3), the strength of the characters is understood as they come out of their houses and quietly survey the damage of the storm.  No words are needed, and survival is the prevailing goal, the strength of the men, and of their women, ...


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...en she gives the sick man milk from her breast; she redeems herself and the other characters.  "She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.

 

The images of the earth, and how devastated it was, affected the characters significantly; the Joad family proved, throughout the novel, that they were a passionate and intense family.  They were willing to go against the precedents and expectations that were set before them in order to achieve their dreams and to fill their hearts with kindness and set an amazing example for humanity.  The characters show that strength comes from inside, and that faith and patience are some of the most important components of survival.

 

Work Cited

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Web. 25 September 2014.


 


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