Bonds With the Land in The Grapes of Wrath

  • Length: 496 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The Grapes of Wrath: Bonds With the Land


To human beings, environment is vital. After spending a number of years in one place, it is very human to become attached. This is especially true with farmers. They spend their lives learning the land around them. The land becomes a friend to them, having almost human value. In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, author John Steinbeck conveys the connection people have with their land, without which they feel they cannot survive mentally or physically.


All humans think of a home as a place for comfort. Even though I have lived in different places, my home right now is where I feel I belong. In The Grapes of Wrath, the Oklahoma farmers feel they belong to the land and do not want to leave it. In response to Muley Graves' refusal to leave, Jim Casy says, "' Fella gets use' to a place, its hard to go'"(65). Muley's refusal to leave shows that he is physically and emotionally attached to the land he farmed before his eviction. It is illegal for him to remain on the land; yet, he cannot bring himself to leave his home. The land has become a part of him.


Human beings also can become proprietary about their land. They believe that the land belongs to them, and they belong to it. Before the Joad family is finished packing, Grampa decides he does not want to leave. He says, "'This country ain't no good, but its my country. No, you all go ahead. I'll jus' stay right here where I b'long'"(143). Grampa knows that it is better if he goes, but he is tied to the land and cannot break himself free. He cannot go on, neither mentally nor physically, away from the land where he feels he belongs.


Grampa physically refuses to leave, and when forced to, his fate is sealed. Even though he talks about the wonderful life he expects to have in California, Grampa cannot mentally abandon the land. Jim Casy makes this observation after Grampa's death. "'He was foolin', all the time. I think he knowed it. An' Grampa didn't die tonight. He died the minute you took 'im off the place... He was that place, an' he knowed it'"(187). Similar to Muley Graves, Grampa's mental bond with the land prevents him from being physically able to leave it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Bonds With the Land in The Grapes of Wrath." 25 Jun 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
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]
Failures of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath - An effortless quote, just a few words put together in a sentence, can often perfectly explain the backbone of some stories. Oscar Wilde's simple, seven worded sentence, "Ambition is the last refuge of failure" perfectly articulates basic ideas of both The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (“Oscar wilde quotes”, 2010). The characters in both books are searching for the figurative Eden of the time, the American Dream. However, in both cases, the characters fall short at achieving the basic ideas of that dream; social development, wealth achievement, and endless opportunity....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream ]
:: 6 Works Cited
1014 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Man's Relationship to the Land in John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath Essay examples -         Man's relationship to the land undergoes a transformation throughout John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Initially, back in Oklahoma, each family feels a strong attachment to the land because the ancestors of these farmers fought and cleared the Indians out of the land, made it suitable for farming, and worked year after year in the fields so that each generation would be provided for. Passing down the land to successive generations, the farmers come to realize that the land is all that they own....   [tags: Essays on Grapes of Wrath]
:: 5 Works Cited
2113 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Grapes of Wrath Essay: Naturalism in The Grapes of Wrath - Naturalism in The Grapes of Wrath In John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family and the changing world in which they live is portrayed from a naturalistic point of view. Steinbeck characterizes the Joads and their fellow migrants as simple, instinct-bound creatures who are on an endless search for paradise (Owens 129). The migrants and the powers which force them to make their journey--nature and society--are frequently represented by animals. The Joads, when they initially leave home, are a group of simplistic, animal-like people who barely understand or even realize their plight, but as the story progresses, they begin to grow and adapt to their new circumsta...   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays] 1414 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Man and Nature in The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Man and Nature in The Grapes of Wrath    In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck uses both obvious references and subtle contrasts to emphasize the main theme of the novel: the sanctity of man's relationship to the natural world and to each other.   Machines have no place in this relationship. They act as a barrier between men and the land. They are dangerous because they perform the function of men with greater efficiency, but they lack the spiritual element that makes the land so valuable....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
664 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Greed Exposed in The Grapes of Wrath - Greed Exposed in The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath is a novel that was written by John Steinbeck. This novel explores the predicaments that families faced in the "Dust Bowl" of Western America. The story shows how the Joad families, like many other families, were made to leave their homes because big business took over and the little man was left to fend for himself. Times were changing and families had to adjust even if that meant starting a whole different life in a brand new place....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 1445 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Steinbeck's Style in The Grapes of Wrath Essay - Different Styles in The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck used a lot of different styles in The Grapes of Wrath. He liked using language that was in keeping with his characters. He was also really big on symbolism. Steinbeck also used intercalary chapters to provide some of the background information. John Steinbeck must have loved using slang and natural dialect. All of his characters spoke with a very heavy accents. "Tell 'em ya dong's growed scence you los' your eye." (P. 180). Granted, this does add some realism....   [tags: Grapes Wrath essays] 487 words
(1.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Setting of Grapes of Wrath - The Setting of Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath does not have one specific setting, but rather travels from Okalahoma to California. The setting in this novel is realistic because you can follow the Joads journey on a map. Accuracy to the novel was very important to Steinbeck because he wanted this novel to be a social document rather then just another piece of fiction. The main characters in the novel are sharecroppers turned into migrant workers much of the stetting is taken place outdoors....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 781 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Finding Hope in The Grapes of Wrath - Finding Hope in The Grapes of Wrath Having watched the movie "Grapes of Wrath", I have been given the opportunity to see the troubles that would have befell migrant workers during the Great Depression. Though the Joads were a fictitious family, I was able to identify with many signs of hope that they could hold onto. Some of these families who made the journey in real life carried on when all they had was hope. The three major signs of hope which I discovered were, overcoming adversity, finding jobs, and completing the journey....   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck] 624 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Grapes of Wrath as Communist Propaganda - The Grapes of Wrath as Communist Propaganda The Grapes of Wrath may be read as a direct indictment of the U.S. capitalist system of the early and mid twentieth century. Although the book on the surface level can fairly easily be read as anti-capitalist book, it goes further than that. The book both implicitly and explicitly advocates structural changes in the economic institutions of our country. Thus, it may be argued that the Grapes of Wrath is communist propaganda. Propaganda, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, is "the dissemination of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those people advocating such a doctrine or cause." The book...   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath essays] 1203 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches

Mentally, Grampa is dead by the time the Joad family crosses the Oklahoma border. Physically, he dies soon afterwards. Grampa cannot bear to travel to a new place, even though he pretends to be happy about it. This breaking of his connection to the land forces him to die.


The Grapes of Wrath is a novel that communicates the bond humans have for the land they live on. This land provides an almost human companion throughout people's lives. When forced to move away, these people lose a part of themselves, and suffer both mentally and physically.

Return to