This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Subtle Metamorphosis In The Grapes Of Wrath

835 words - 3 pages

A Subtle Metamorphosis in The Grapes of Wrath

 

The spirit of unity emerges as the one unfailing source of strength in John Steinbeck¹s classic The Grapes of Wrath. As the Joad family¹s world steadily crumbles, hope in each other preserves the members¹ sense of pride, of courage, and of determination. A solitary man holds a grim future; with others to love and be loved by, no matter how destitute one is materially, life is rich. This selflessness is not immediate, however; over the course of the book several characters undergo a subtle metamorphosis.

 

A recently paroled Tom Joad makes his first encounter with altruism as he attempts to hitchhike with a trucker whose employer has outlawed the practice. When the trucker points out the "No Riders" (11) sign his truck carries, Tom replies, "ŒBut sometimes a guy¹ll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker.¹" (11) Steinbeck has cleverly cornered the man by utilizing a tool often implemented in Depression-era literature: the classification of the guilty rich as anonymous, thus convincing the trucker that he is "not one whom any rich bastard could kick around." (11) Still, this generous gesture is caused by shame and guilt, not by an independent moral factor.

 

The notion of a collective spirit is explored when Tom meets the former preacher, Casy. Casy has given up classical religion because it lacks pragmatism and overemphasizes escapism. In a thesis statement that is repeated several times, he says, "ŒMaybe it¹s all men and women we love; maybe that¹s the Holy Sperit‹the human speritŠMaybe all men got one big soul and ever¹body¹s a part of.¹" (33) At this early point, though, Tom remains skeptical. "Joad¹s eyes dropped to the ground, as though he could not meet the naked honesty in the preacher¹s eyes. ŒYou can¹t hold no church with idears like that.¹" (33)

 

Sharing is developed more when Tom, taking Casy under his wing, runs across an old friend, Muley. Though a vagrant, he has freshly killed rabbits in possession. Steinbeck shows the crossover to unconscious unity as Casy asks Muley if he¹ll share: "ŒI ain¹t got no choice in the matterŠwhat I mean, if a fella¹s got somepin to eat and another fella¹s hungry‹why, the first fella ain¹t got no choice.¹" (66)

 

Banding together in organized efforts is an elusive goal rarely achieved in the novel. Characters dream of unions at...

Find Another Essay On A Subtle Metamorphosis in The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes Of Wrath Essay

510 words - 2 pages In the epic movie Grapes of Wrath, director John Ford depicted a saga of one family trying to survive the 1930’s. In watching this film, it helped me to understand the hardships of the American migrants. The characters showed unique traits and dealt with problems each in a different way.The Dust Bowl was an ecological and human disaster that took place in the southwestern Great Plains region, including Oklahoma. Misuse of land and years of

The grapes of wrath Essay

999 words - 4 pages The Grapes of Wrath was written about the hardships and struggles foretold about life in the Great Depression. Steinbeck expressed in great detail about the struggles and the reality of living in America at that time. Steinbeck describes the suffering of one family named "The Joads". Steinbeck wrote this piece of work as evidence to show the problems that affected millions of people during this time, which was recurrent throughout the novel. In

The Grapes of Wrath

859 words - 4 pages The novel, The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, describes the journey of the Joad family, as well as other families, as they migrate towards California in attempt to find a job. While making their journeys across America, the jobless men of these families would begin to talk to each other, realizing that they have a similar background. Many of them lost their farms due to the Dust Bowl, and many lost their homes due to foreclosure

The Grapes of Wrath

662 words - 3 pages John Steinbeck's classic novel, the Grapes of Wrath, ventured into a time of poverty at its height. During the Great Depression, hardships and turmoil were around every corner. As they journeyed from their home, many of the characters in this book went through their own personal trials. Jim Casy, an ex minister, is a character that soul searched throughout the trip to find all the hidden answers to his burdening questions. As he and the Joads

The Grapes Of Wrath

747 words - 3 pages The Grapes of Wrath was the sad story of the Joad family, poor sharecroppers from Oklahoma during the infamous dustbowl period of the 1930s. Year after year of disastrous weather had made for an extremely tough time for the Joad family. It was all they could do to eke out a living. Their lives completely bottomed out when the land company foreman, with little warning, evicted them from their farm. They heard that there was plenty of work in

"The Grapes of Wrath"

1025 words - 4 pages "The Grapes of Wrath" is considered to be one of the greatest American Classics, and for good reason. It is the tale of the Joad family and their struggle in search of a new life in the Great Depression California after being evicted from their farm along with hundreds of thousands of other farmers just like them. Taking place in one of the saddest eras of American history, author John Steinbeck holds little back in portraying the harshness of

The Grapes of Wrath

798 words - 3 pages …and all the Joad's must leave because the box car they are living in is beginning to fill with water. Carrying the children on their backs they wade through the water until they come to the highway, along the way they discover a man dying from starvation. The man's son tells the Joad's that the man hasn't eaten in six days, but soon that problem is taken care of. I enjoyed reading The Grapes of Wrath. It showed how determination

The Grapes Of Wrath

1372 words - 5 pages The Grapes of wrath begins with Tom Joad getting out of Jail on parole. Tom soon met up with Jim Casy a former preacher. After Tom had found his family through the help of Jim, Tom decided he would set out with his family to try and find a steady and well paying job in California. As the Joads started out they didn't face many difficulties except for the loss of Grandpa and Grandma Joad. As the Joads pushed on and got closer they started to

Selfishness in The Grapes of Wrath

2239 words - 9 pages community who is victim of self-interest, crime, dishonesty and extreme search of profit. As one can notice in The Grapes of Wrath, these acts cause farmers' migration towards unknown countries in which they think as the favorable place to find a solution to their problems. Thus, migrant farmers found at their great surprise a city in which competition, insincerity, lack of consideration for others and excessive quest for material comfort are the

Humility in The Grapes of Wrath

766 words - 4 pages Ever wanted to use humility to accomplish something or anything. Well a man from The Grapes of Wrath made the perfect example. In the excerpt from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, there is man who needs to buy ten cents worth of bread, but Mae, a waitress who works at the diner, does not want to sell the bread because they need it. For further understanding of the book, John Steinbeck wrote this to depict how socialism and communism could

Parallel Events in the Grapes of Wrath

1281 words - 5 pages this was for a practice ap essayThe Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, has many parallel or recurring events throughout the novel, five of the major repeated themes would include the references to the Bible and Jesus Christ, the continuous praising of socialism, the changes that Ma goes through on the trip, and the changing definition of 'family' on the trip to and in California.Beginning in chapter four, where Tom first meets Jim Casy

Similar Essays

Whats In A Name? The Grapes Of Wrath Title Explained

966 words - 4 pages American LiteratureMay 8, 2002What's in the Name?One of the most important parts of a book is its title. Some authors like to put a meaning in their title that can only be understood once the book has been read. John Steinbeck, the author of The Grapes of Wrath is no exception.This title can be understood better if both the book and the song "Battle Hymn of the Republic" are read. The title originally came from this song, which was written

A Man's Humility In The Grapes Of Wrath

835 words - 4 pages A Man’s Humility In The Grapes of Wrath The Dust Bowl was a time in the 1930’s were malpractice cultivation, made cultivated farmland turn to dust then winds blew dust to make a huge dust storm that happened all over the U.S and Canadian prairies, it forced many to families to leave their homes and find jobs elsewhere. John Steinbeck is known for his skillfulness when it comes to detailing a situation or surrounding, he is the author of The

The Grapes Of Wrath Essay 865 Words

865 words - 4 pages Capitalist American society. While the representation of the hero in The Grapes of Wrath was an ordinary person that works hard. The glamour of the Cowboy hero is gone by the 1930s. People are not being encouraged to think for themselves anymore instead they are encouraged to work hard together. This is seen in the Grapes of Wrath. The Grapes of Wrath follows the journey of the Joads, a family forced to leave their homeland in Oklahoma

The Grapes Of Wrath Essay

1401 words - 6 pages The Grapes of Wrath is a novel that shows a nation when it is at one of its lowest points economically. During the 1930’s the great depression too place and this story is a depiction of what many families who owned farmland during that time went though. The Joads were a average farming family in Oklahoma until the dust bowl hit. During the dust bowls there was always dirt in the air because all of the farm land had dried up and the land was