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

Steinbeck's "Grapes Of Wrath" Analysis

2492 words - 10 pages

Tom Joad from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is a prime example of a person whose morals and spiritual growth can not be restricted by the law or any other limiting factor for long. Throughout the novel he develops from a man only interestedin his own independent personal desires and needs to one who is devoted to his family and sacrifices his own personal comfort for the benefit of the family. At the novel's end Tom is continuing Jim Casy's generous work of uniting the poor hand laborersgainst the rich oppressive land owners who are starving the poor with low wages. Tom's concept of family grows with his work uniting the poor to encompass all of humanity.Maslow's Humanistic psychological 'Hierarchy of Human Needs' can be used to track Tom's personal development. Humanists believe that humans are constantly striving to be the best person that their present conditions allow them to be. TheHierarchy of Needs lists the needs that humans need to satisfy to reach the next level of development. One can not move to a higher level of development without first satisfying the more basic levels. The first level are the physiological needs: foodwater, and sleep. The next level is safety and security, then love and belonging. Next of the list is a healthy self-esteem and finally self-actualization. One who is self actualized has efficient perceptions of reality, autonomy, fellowship with humity, strong and loving interpersonal relationships, and is task centered.At the beginning of the novel Tom has just been paroled from prison serving time for killing a man in a fight. Tom feels he was merely defending himself. He feels no guilt or shame about killing the man and would do it again under the sameconditions. Tom's morals allowed him to justify the killing. These morals were instilled in him by his family especially from the strength and love of his mother. Tom is looking forward to 'laying one foot down in front of another.' At this point inhe story Tom has his physiological needs met and is going home to his family to meet his needs of safety and security love belonging.In chapter 6 Tom finds his house abandoned and meets Muley, an old neighbor that stayed behind after his family moved to California for work. Tom's morals insist that he be a straight forward person that will face problems head on instead ofhiding from them. This is shown when he, along with Muley and Casy are forced to hide from a deputy searching for trespassers. Tom despises having to hide from the deputy on his father's land. In this same chapter Muley shows them to a cave where thecan sleep for the night. Tom refuses to sleep in the concealed cave, preferring to be out in the open. The cave symbolically represents change as a Freudian womb image. The cave is the womb of rebirth or developmental change in Tom's character. At thstage of the story Tom is not ready for the change that he will later undertake.Tom is forced to hide from the deputy that is looking for trespassers because if here...

Find Another Essay On Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" analysis

Power of Religion in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath

2426 words - 10 pages The Power of Religion in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck's epic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, chronicles the struggles of the Joads as they join the thousands of fellow "Okies" in a mass migration westward. The Joads reluctantly leave behind their Oklahoma farm in search of work and food in California. While Steinbeck writes profoundly and emotionally about the political problems of the Great Depression, his characters

Biblical Allusions and Imagery in Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"

1669 words - 7 pages , 1972), rpt. in Hunter, J. Paul. 'Steinbeck's Wine of Affirmation,' in Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Grapes of Wrath, edited by Robert Con Davis. (Englewood, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1982), p. 40.3 J. Paul Hunter. 'Steinbeck's Wine of Affirmation,' in Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Grapes of Wrath, edited by Robert Con Davis. (Englewood, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1982), p. 40.4 John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath. (New York

The Experience of Suffering in John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

655 words - 3 pages Grapes of Wrath – Humanity’s biggest “Wake up” call Jessie-Anne Kalubiaka Imagine going down south to the Promised Land (California), getting a new job that pays very and well. Finally have enough food on the table for the entire family in order for them to survive and not die of starvation. The ideal American Dream for all the migrants who are hardly surviving the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. John Steinbeck’s ultimate goal by writing

The Selfishness Of Man in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

1029 words - 4 pages The Selfishness of Man Cultural and economical pressures often lead people to behave corruptly. In John Steinbeck?s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, set in the dustbowl era, people act out of greed rather than out of consideration or kindness. Tom Joad and his family have been run off their land by inconsiderate, money hungry businessmen who do not care about the impact homelessness will have on the evictees. The story revolves around the Joad

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

1152 words - 5 pages 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

Steinbeck's Social Commentary in The Grapes of Wrath

681 words - 3 pages 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

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle

1989 words - 8 pages Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle The global appeal of the so-called American dream of happiness and success has drawn many people to the “promised land” for hundreds of years. Although the American government preached equality for all on paper, it was driven primarily by money. Both Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck recognized this and used literature to convey the flaws of capitalism. Sinclair’s The Jungle

Analysis of four types of conflict in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath", man versus man, man versus nature, man versus society, and man versus himself

1487 words - 6 pages In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the journey of the Joad family is riddled with conflict. The family experiences all of the four major types of conflicts: man vs. himself, man vs. society, man vs. nature, and man vs. man. In the case of The Grapes of Wrath, "man" represents the Joad family as a single unit. They experience conflict within the family itself, with the society they are coming from as well as the one they are going to, and

Elusive American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

1151 words - 5 pages The Elusive American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath The American dream of success through hard work and of unlimited opportunity in a vast country actually started before America was officially America, before the colonists broke away from England and established an independent country. That dream has endured and flourished for hundreds of years; as a result, American writers naturally turn to it for

The Portrayal of Women in John Steinbeck's Novel The Grapes of Wrath

5419 words - 22 pages . Mother earthC. The final imageV. ConclusionNotesBibliographyAbstract:In Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, Ma Joad and Rose of Sharon graphically portray the theme of women as self-sacrificing and nurturing mothers in the migrant family during the great depression. Throughout the story Ma is a model of the ideal woman. She is the foundation upon which the rest of the family stands. Her endurance gives her the power rise above adversity and to

Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad relationship with Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

881 words - 4 pages In 1995, Bruce Springsteen produced an album titled “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Its title track brings out a lot of ideas from John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Migrant workers, as explained in chapter twenty three of The Grapes of Wrath, used music as a main source of entertainment. They would play the harmonica, the guitar, and the fiddle, while the other workers would dance and be jolly, despite how bad the

Similar Essays

Analysis Of John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

526 words - 2 pages Madeline Zamora Ms.Dickerson AP English 2 September 2014 Analysis of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck portrayed the lives of many families by using one family's unfortunate experience during the Great Depression. In his book The Grapes of Wrath he is able to describe how incredible of an impact the low economy had on many families. The Joad family whom Steinbeck wrote about struggled many hardships during their journey to

Grapes Of Wrath Essay: Steinbeck's Political Beliefs

1025 words - 4 pages The Grapes of Wrath and Steinbeck's Political Beliefs      Steinbeck's relationship to the transcendentalists [Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman] was pointed out soon after The Grapes of Wrath appeared by Frederick I. Carpenter, and as the thirties fade into history, Jim Casy with his idea of the holiness of all men and the unreality of sin seems less a product of his own narrowly doctrinaire age than a latter-day wanderer from the green

Grapes Of Wrath Essay: Steinbeck's Powerful Style

998 words - 4 pages The Powerful Style of The Grapes of Wrath      When Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, our country was just starting to recover from The Great Depression.  The novel he wrote, though fiction, was not an uncommon tale in many lives.  When this book was first published, the majority of those reading it understood where it was coming from-they had lived it.  But now very few people understand the horrors of what went on in that time.  The

Grapes Of Wrath Essay: Steinbeck's Use Of Interchapters

783 words - 3 pages The Use of Interchapters in The Grapes of Wrath   John Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath, is a narrative about the travel of the Joad family from Oklahoma to California.  However, between many of the narrative chapters, Steinbeck inserts interchapters, which interrupt the flow of the narrative to provide the author's commentary.  This technique is very effective because the interchapters create an image of the economic and