Preview
Preview

Essay on Humanity's Journey in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath

:: 5 Works Cited
Length: 1162 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Humanity's Journey in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath


As a major literary figure since the 1930s, Steinbeck displays in his writing a characteristic respect for the poor and oppressed. In many of his novels, his characters show signs of a quiet dignity and courage for which Steinbeck has a great admiration. For instance, in The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck describes the unrelenting struggle of the people who depend on the soil for their livelihood. One element helping give this novel an added touch of harmony is Steinbeck’s ability to bind these two ideas into one story: the never ending struggle to survive and primacy of the family.

The journey of the Joads serves as a suitable vehicle for the delivery of Steinbeck's message and theme on three levels. The first is literal: he uses the journey and its ever-changing environment to put the Joads through many situations. The second level is general: the journey of the Joads can be seen as the same that forced farmers to become migrants from the dust bowl westward or of any mass migration since the beginning of time. The third level is the symbolic level: Steinbeck’s novel can be analyzed by the commonly used mathematics principle of fractals. This relates to The Grapes of Wrath by enlightening the reader of the fact that many things are identical at different levels.

The first level, the literal, is simply to describe the events the Joads witness and experience. Steinbeck uses the journey to place his characters in a range of dilemmas. He is then able to draw reactions from them. As each character involved in the situation reacts, we are able to see Steinbeck's respect for the poor shining through. Steinbeck stresses the evolutionary idea that man must adapt to changing con...


... middle of paper ...


...ure provides for a greater understanding of the theme. By reaching the general theme of humanity's journey, his novel attains the status of a classic, for humanity will always be on a journey. This makes The Grapes of Wrath not only a classic work of literature, but a timeless one as well.


Works Cited

French, Warren. "John Steinbeck" Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 1, Gale Research Co.: Book Tower: Detroit 1973.

Lechteihn, Yuri. "The Awakening of Tom Joad." 2 pp. Online. Internet. 30 April, 1999. Available http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Steinbeck/grapes.html.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc, 1993.

Timmerman, John. John Steinbeck’s Fiction. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.

Wilson, Edmund. "The Noonday Press." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 13, Gale Research Co. Book Tower: Detroit 1973.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Grapes of Wrath - Journey of the Joads and Humanity Essay - The Journey of the Joads and the Journey of Humanity In Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, he describes the struggle of the small farmer and farmworker. The principal characters define quiet dignity and courage in their struggle to survive and in the caring for their loved ones. Through this novel, Steinbeck displays his respect for all the poor and oppressed of our world. The journey of the Joads represents Steinbeck's message of respect for the poor and oppressed on three levels....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 768 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Power of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath Essay - The Power of The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has become one of my favorite writers -- for the love he has for his characters, the loveliness of his language, and the clear-eyed conviction with which he writes. Originally, I failed to see the beauty in Steinbeck's people, though it is plainly there. Perhaps I hadn't seen enough of the world myself, yet. There was a lot I didn't understand about people. What Steinbeck does so well is to show people's struggle for simple human decency in the face of meanness and ignorance....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 1104 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Contrast of Humanity in Suffering and Exploitation: The Grapes of Wrath - Of all the injustices that are bestowed upon mankind, none are greater than the ones inflicted by our own species of apathy towards poverty and the hardships of our brothers. Steinbeck gives a view of human frailties and strengths from many different perspectives in “The Grapes of Wrath.” This book demonstrates how people can overcome destitution, team up to find solutions, and provide protection and security in times of trouble. Steinbeck introduces people who are hard working and honest, that reach out selflessly with compassion towards others....   [tags: Suffering, Exploitation, Grapes of Wrath, Steinbec]
:: 3 Works Cited
2517 words
(7.2 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Steinbeck's Social Commentary in The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Social Commentary in The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath is a realistic novel that mimics life and offers social commentary too. It offers many windows on real life in midwest America in the 1930s. But it also offers a powerful social commentary, directly in the intercalary chapters and indirectly in the places and people it portrays. Typical of very many, the Joads are driven off the land by far away banks and set out on a journey to California to find a better life. However the journey breaks up the family, their dreams are not realized and their fortunes disappear....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays] 679 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Observations on The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Observations on The Grapes of Wrath As you approach your home, you realize the empty barn and the crooked house sagging close to the barren ground. A closer view unveils an empty, dried up well, an emaciated cat limping past the caved in porch, a tree with "leaves tattered and scraggly as a molting chicken" (23), a stack of rotting untouched lumber and cracked, jagged window panes reflecting the desolate land abroad. This description portrays the Joad family's home suffering from abandonment when they leave their country home life for better opportunities in the west....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 867 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Dynamic Characters and Survival in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath - Dynamic Characters and Survival in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath In the American epic novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, there are pivotal and dynamic changes that occur in the various significant characters of Jim Casy, Ma Joad, and Tom Joad. Steinbeck specifically uses these characters to show their common realizations about all of humanity, in order to demonstrate his underlying meaning about the importance of people coming together, helping each other out, and surviving....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays] 802 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay examples - ... He only got a hundred dollars. They take forty to bury Grampa an we won’t get to California.” (Steinbeck 190). This quotation shows that the Joad family was so impoverished and was extremely low on funds they had to chose between burry a loved one or to move and better the rest of the family and continue to California. One hundred dollars did not get them much, but the Joad family idealized money and a wealthy future enough to chose to move forward and illegally burry their loved one. Which shows men were idealizing money and allowing it to control their decision making....   [tags: class conflict theme] 518 words
(1.5 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
The Changing Family Revealed in Grapes of Wrath Essay - The Changing Family Revealed in Grapes of Wrath           The emphasis on family in America is decreasing. Divorce rates, single-parent households, and children born out of wedlock are all increasing. Furthermore, instead of the network of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and other relatives that was prevalent in early America, Americans today are more distant from their extended family. As sociologist David Elkind said in a 1996 interview with Educational Leadership, "Instead of togetherness, we have a new focus on autonomy....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
1776 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Role of the Family Explored in Slapstick and Grapes of Wrath - Role of the Family Explored in Slapstick and Grapes of Wrath       On Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the need for belongingness and love ranks only below the need for survival, making it one of our most basic needs (Weiten 267). Many people fill this need for affection by participating in a family unit. However, as the 20th century continues, the emphasis on family in America is decreasing. Divorce rates, single-parent households, and children born out of wedlock are all increasing. Furthermore, instead of the network of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and other relatives that was prevalent in early America, Americans today are more distant from their extended family....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
:: 15 Works Cited
2570 words
(7.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath is the story of the experiences of the Joad family from the time of their eviction from a farm near Sallisaw, Oklahoma to their first winter in California. The Joad family’s story illustrates the hardship and oppression suffered by migrant laborers during the Great Depression. The novel begins with the description of the conditions in Dust Bowl Oklahoma that ruined the crops and instigated massive foreclosures on farmland. Hundreds of families packed up what little belongings they had and traveled to California, where they hoped to find prosperity and rebuild their lives....   [tags: essays research papers] 699 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]