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Character Nobility In The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

1636 words - 7 pages

In the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck displays the Joads as characters of nobility. Each family member shows an essence of character, courage, generosity, or honor. People who carry the trait of nobility are looked up to. They are the people who change for the best, who attempt many tasks, and who are there for the benefit of others. The will to put aside any desires for another person displays sincere nobility. "When somepin happens that I got to do somepin--I'll do it" (24) is a confident expression said by a person of generosity and reliability.Ma Joad displays her nobility through generosity, comfort, and her will to take lead in the family. The role of a mother is known to be the person who maintains the family and keeps optimism alive. "All right. It's gonna be all right...You know the family got to get acrost. You know that" (225) was said to comfort her worried daughter in that the journey would soon come to an end if they had patience. Ma Joad was often referred to for comfort and support, which shows she put other people's worries in front of hers. "It ain't kin we? It's will we? As far as 'kin,' we can't do nothin'...but as far as 'will,' why, we'll do what we will" (102) is saying that family is family and nothing can be done about it. It is not whether something is known how to be achieved, but it is the attempt made to achieve it. The family must have the need, want, and will to overcome any obstacle. Ma Joad believes in her family and that is why they look up to her and honors her dedication to making their lives better. "Don't you go fightin' 'em alone...if we was all mad the same way, they wouldn't hunt nobody down" (77). By staying one unit and not "fightin' 'em alone," a family is secure and impenetrable. She knows that the family needs to stick together in order to actually triumph over the worst. Ma's comfort and perseverance sets an example to the other Joads to obtain the trait of goodness and nobleness.The same concept of stability and character applies to Jim Casy, showing his nobility. Though he gave up the position of a preacher, he is able to influence the family through his honest thoughts. "There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing" (23). Casy expresses that actions affect everyone. Good or bad, everyone makes decisions which all have positive or negative consequences. Jim Casy is saying that everyone is equal and everyone plays a role in society. Relating to Ma's thoughts of "we'll do what we will," it is a matter of choice and through this Casy shows true character of nobility. "I got a feelin' I got to see them. They gonna need help no preacher can give 'em. When their own spirit is downcast an' sad they gonna need help. They got to live before they can afford to die" (52) shows Casy's concern for others and his unselfish behavior also showing his realization that everyone deserves a helping hand and no one deserves to struggle. He is yet another...

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