Black Boy And The Grapes Of Wrath Analysis

1728 WordsDec 16, 20177 Pages
The bible is a pretty exhilarating book; tales of bearded men crossing deserts, talking snakes, talking bushes, forbidden fruits, floods, adultery, and pregnant virgins. What more could you want? Well, you might want to escape poverty. Logically, your next question is: can religion accomplish this task? And according to Richard Wright and John Steinbeck, the answer is a resounding “no.” Wright and Steinbeck, pump their books, Black Boy and The Grapes of Wrath, respectively, full of biblical allusions to demonstrate that religion is ineffective at addressing the issues of the indigent because teleological narratives, when applied to material context, do not have the same end. While this paper claims that both authors have a negative…show more content…
First, her reading is too hopeful. If Steinbeck does wish to relate the Joad family to many American families, what is his end goal? The Joad family suffers relentlessly from the start to the end of the novel. Crockett fails to comprehend the full function of Steinbeck’s biblical allusions. They are not merely used to establish parallels among characters and readers, but to illustrate their incompatibility with reality. Hence, Steinbeck does not use biblical allusions to relate characters to readers, but to highlight the unrelatability between the characters in his book, and the characters in the bible. Characters in the bible suffer temporarily, while his characters suffer perpetually. Furthermore, Crockett’s second analysis agues that the ending of The Grapes of Wrath is not purposeless, but hopeful. Again, Crockett is mistaken. Near the end of the book, the Joad family is in shambles; Rose of Sharon is sick, her baby dies, the family loses their possessions in the flood, and several other calamities befall them. Where is the hope? Understandably, many dissenters—Crockett included—will protest that the breast-feeding scene does constitute as hopeful. Dissenters will argue that the scene is symbolic of community because the mother’s milk, which is designated for her children, is shared with someone of no relation to her. Figuratively speaking then, strangers become family, through this act of benevolence. But, these dissenters neglect the death of Rose of Sharon’s
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