Grapes Of Wrath Essay

2416 Words 10 Pages
John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath is one of the most influential books in American History, and is considered to be his best work by many. It tells the story of one family’s hardship during the Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. The Joads were a hard-working family with a strong sense of togetherness and morals; they farmed their land and went about their business without bothering anyone. When the big drought came it forced them to sell the land they had lived on since before anyone can remember. Their oldest son, Tom, has been in jail the past four years and returns to find his childhood home abandoned. He learns his family has moved in with his uncle John and decides to travel a short distance to see them. He arrives …show more content…
He got somebody with ‘im tonight.” They heard footsteps on wood, and then from inside the house they saw the glow of a flashlight. “Shall I shoot through the house?” Muley whispered. “They couldn’t see where it come from. Give ‘em sompin to think about.” (80)



The Grapes of Wrath is two intertwined stories. One of the Joad family and their personal struggles, and the other of the greater effect of the Dust Bowl and depression on the massive amounts of people like the Joads. He trades off each chapter, one chapter telling the story of the Joads and the next talking about the migrants. He uses the Joads to bring the story home to the reader, defeating the myth about the Okies. That myth being, as put by a service station attendant, “They ain’t human.” (301) Throughout the novel Steinbeck goes to prove that the Joads are perhaps the most humane people out there. As the story progresses the Joads progress as well, from only being concerned with their own personal welfare and living to being aware of injustice towards everyone like them. This is accompanied by the disintegration of the smaller family unit, which is replaced by the larger world family of the migrant people. The character that shows this change most dramatically is Tom Joad. When he first is released from prison his only concern is going home, returning to his old lifestyle, catching up on lost time and having some fun. As he learns about the journey west his first priority becomes his family, and

he…