John Steinbeck 's Grapes Of Wrath

1006 Words Sep 13th, 2016 5 Pages
Identify one of John Steinbeck’s themes in Grapes of Wrath. Using in-text citations, analyze how three scenes clearly convey this theme.
One of John Steinbeck’s themes in the novel Grapes of Wrath is the irresistible need for familial replacement. Whenever a family member of the Joads dies or departs from the family, they are not able to compensate emotionally and therefore resort to replacing the family member with a stranger from the road. He first conveys this theme when the Joads pick up the Wilsons in Chapter 13, when Grampa dies. As he dies, the Joads feel an almost primal urge to replace him, to help others in payment for his death. And so, on page 148, they decide to pick up the Wilsons and bring them to California: “Joads and Wilsons crawled westward together as a unit” (page 163). However, when the Wilsons are no longer able to carry on, the family also suffers another two losses. Granma dies and Noah stays behind, convinced he can make a living by himself. The family is crushed, but since they are unable to mourn, they seek out emotional compensation from strangers. On page 243, the Joads land in Hooverville, a small town with many camping families seeking a new life in California. Al finds a friend in Floyd Knowles, who lends the Joads a tip about work up in Santa Clara valley. Before the family can decide whether or not to travel 200 miles, Floyd aggravates a police officer for existing. Casy takes the blame, and the preacher is carted away from the Joads. Floyd…
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