Grapes of Wrath: Awakening of Tom Joad Essay

630 Words Oct 15th, 1999 3 Pages
Grapes of Wrath: Awakening Of Tom Joad

Grapes of Wraith by John Steinbeck portrayed the awakening of a man's conscience dealing with his troubling trials throughout the novel. The character that goes through this monumental change is Tom Joad, son of two tenant farmers from Oklahoma. Tom's conscience was changed from a loner who cared nothing about the people to a hardy leader of them. He first looked after his family on their trip that evolved into including the impoverished migrant farmers in California.

At the beginning of the novel Tom Joad has just been paroled after spending four years in a state prison. He stops at a roadside cafe looking for a ride when he sees a truck with a "No Riders" sticker on it. Tom's conversation
with
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Tom's final awakening comes when he meets Jim Casy for the final time outside a work camp in the midst of a strike. There Jim Casy tells Tom that the only way the worker's can obtain law and order as well as, fair wages, is to unite all the migrant workers together and fight against the larger controlling companies. The statement is driven home when he witnesses Jim Casy's passive resistance in response to the threatened violence by the cops. As the police advance on Jim Casy he yells towards them, " Listen, you fellas don' know what you're doin'. You're helpin' to starve kids." moments before his head is brutally crushed by a pick handle. Enraged by the actions unfolded before him
Tom grabs a pick handle and clubs one of the officers to death before hastily fleeing from the scene. This event finally made possible the awakening of Tom Joad. He recognized that if a common man were to ever get a fair chance to live their life, they would be forced to do so under a united cause. Tom's awakening came slowly as he struggled to understand the toils of needing, not only to care for his family but organize the migrant workers into a force where they can achieve fair rights. During the final chapters of the novel Tom recognizes the importance of Jim Casy's work to unify the people bringing about a final awakening of his
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