Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

1891 Words Aug 20th, 2014 8 Pages
Gabriella Borges
Lehman, 2nd
AP Lang Comp
August 20, 2014

Grapes of Wrath Essay

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, is set in post Dust Bowl tragedy, or the “Dirty Thirties”, when families were forced to move West in search of jobs when their land was taken from them by the banks and their tractors. Throughout the book, Steinbeck uses a set of intercalary chapters that are woven in between chapters expressing subtle themes, while still having connections to the main story following the Joad family (and company). Symbols, themes, and motifs connect both the intercalary and the narrative chapters together from the beginning to the end of the book. Steinbeck included many symbols that acted as vessels for themes about humanity and its cruelty, faith, family, dignity, leadership, and endurance. Through loss, hardship, and hunger, the Joads journey West to California with hopes of a better life and a chance to start anew.

The story begins with Tom Joad, fresh out of McAlester State Penitentiary and headed for home in Oklahoma. Though he was given seven years of confinement for a homicide conviction, despite it being in self defense, he only completed four years due to the state granting him parole. They released him with new attire, including shoes and hat, so attention is drawn to him when he enters town looking for a ride to his family’s farm. In the following chapter, a turtle struggles to cross a busy street. Before he even steps foot on the road, he encounters “cat…
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