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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 left as a pile of dry dirt. Because they were no longer able to farm the government took many farms right out from under people and left them with nowhere to turn. The Joads were no exception to this. Tom Joad had just gotten out of the penitentiary for killing a man when he found out what had happened to his family in his absence. When he finally found them, they were all packed up to go to California. On the way to California they lost both Grandma and Grandpa. This shows what a sacrifice they were forced to make because they had nowhere else to turn. Once they get to California they find out that all of the handbills had been wrong and there was hardly enough work there for all the immigrants that were coming from all over the Midwest. The Joads certainly see the worst and the best that California has to offer. From locally run farms with bad cops to government run camps with running water and enough of everything to go around. With they had some luck along they way the Joads eventually run out of money and are forced to take refuge in a barn. While in this barn they find a man who is dying and because Rose of Sheran has unused milk she breast feeds the man. The novel ends with this sentence “She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.” This is such a strange sad ending that many people feel that Steinbeck should have ended it a different way. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck I feel that the ending was too sad because it erased all ideas the they Joads would be together in the end, depressing because it showed what people were driven to during the depression, and in a way hopeful because it showed how sometimes human nature does have a good side.
The ending of The Grapes of Wrath shows that the Joads will probably not make it out in the end. “Ma watched him sullenly while he chopped out part of the inner wall of the car, built a fire, and scooped water into a pan. The family ate the steaming potatoes with their fingers. And when thus last food was gone, they stared at the gray water.” The novel began with the despite need for water, and ends with a flood. This, however, is the only thing that is different between the beginning and the end. They are still being forced to burn their belongings, and they have just run out of the last of their food. Rain seemed as if it would fix everything, but in the end it changes nothing at all. The loss of all the family along the way and Tom leaving shows that the family who was so desperate to stay together will...

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