Grapes Of Wrath Analysis

Decent Essays

The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck was published in 1939, and it had taken Steinbeck 5 months to complete. Steinbeck visited labor camps in California and researched very rigorously to be honest and not stray from the truth. The Great Depression took place during the 1930’s which was partially caused by the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms caused by poor agricultural methods and droughts. The story’s setting is in the midst of all this chaos and confusion. The Joads are kicked off their land, after the dust storms ruin their crops and big crop companies buy the land to mass produce cotton. The Joads travel to California where they believe easy jobs, such as picking fruit, will just be handed to them, and good fortune would be brought upon them. This is not the case though, as the Joads are put to work in a labor camp since the Great Depression has caused economic growth to cease. John Steinbeck uses several characters as symbols of struggle during this time in his novel.
Jim Casey is not a biological member of the Joad family but he is accepted and becomes a family member as he travels to California alongside the Joad family. Jim Casey, the former preacher, symbolizes Jesus Christ and this is one of the many biblical symbols in this novel. Just before Jim Casey is killed he shouts, “You fellas don’ know what you’re doin.” and as Jesus Christ is nailed to the cross he shouts “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Jim

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