Essay on Grapes Of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath

     John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, a remarkable novel that greatly embodied the entire uprisal of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s. The usage of imagery and symbolism help to support his many different themes running through the course of the novel. His use of language assisted in personifying the many trials and tribulations which the Joad family, and the rest of the United States, was feeling at the time. This was a time of great confusion and chaos because no one really knew what the other was going through, they were all just trying to hold their own. To display the many sides of the depression Steinbeck developed the use of intercallorie chapters, and he
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He also used animal imagery throughout the novel. The most prominent description of these animals was the highly symbolic land turtle. “The back legs went to work, straining like elephant legs, and the shell tipped to an angle so that the front legs could not reach the level cement plain”(20).“The old humorous eyes looked ahead, and the horny beak opened a little. His yellow toe nails slipped a fraction in the dust”(21). This sort of description gives the reader an impression of struggling effort with a lack of results, which was part of the hardship the people in the Dust Bowl were experiencing. Steinbeck used the descriptions of the characters themselves to create images, typically giving the people animal qualities. “Joad’s lips stretched tight over his long teeth for a moment, and he licked his lips like a dog, one in each direction from the middle”(16). Also, he used imagery to portray the people of the time, and the weariness of their life and emotions:

Lines of weariness around the eyes, lines of discontentment down from the mouth, breasts lying heavily in little hammocks…the mouths panting, the eyes sullen, disliking sun and wind and earth, resenting food and weariness, hating time that rarely makes them beautiful and always makes them old.(199)

Steinbeck’s usage of

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