Grapes Of Wrath Literary Analysis

Decent Essays

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck uses numerous literary techniques to advocate for change in the social and political attitudes of the Dust Bowl era. Simile, personification, and imagery are among the many devices that add to the novel’s ability to influence the audience’s views. Moreover, through his use of detail, Steinbeck is able to develop a strong bond between the reader and the Joad clan. This bond that is created evokes empathy from the audience towards the Joads as they face numerous challenges along their journey. The chapters go between the Joad’s story and a broad perspective of the Dust Bowl’s effect on the lives of Mid-western farmers in which Steinbeck illustrates dust storms devastating the land, banks evicting tenant …show more content…

A great example of imagery is in the line, “brake rods, exhausts, piled like snakes” (63). This quote is depicting what one can find in used car lots that were full of not only car parts, but snake-like salesmen as well. The scorching heat of the sun is mentioned again when Steinbeck explains that “the sun whipped the earth”, and this is also an example of personification (163). Moreover, by explaining in great detail most actions and conversations the Joads had throughout their travels, Steinbeck makes the reader feels as though they are a part of the family. Private enterprise is criticized as a man tells the Joad men, “... “ever’thing in California is owned... An’ them people that owns it is gonna hang on to it if they got to kill ever’body in the worl’ to do it” (206). This conversation had served to raise awareness of how the large farming companies were taking advantage of people by running small farmers out of business, paying low wages because men would work just to feed their starving children, and keeping the poor poor. Steinbeck was advocating for change with his writing. Another attack had been on the government in this quote, “Sheriff gets seventy-five cents a day for each prisoner, an’ he feeds ‘em for a quarter” (271). By including this, the novel is demonstrating how its take on the corruption of the government and its law enforcers - that this practice of paying to put struggling people in jail

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