Powerful Images in The Grapes of Wrath Essays

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The Grapes of Wrath is an important commentary on society and humanity, and is intended to evoke intense feelings from readers. John Steinbeck, the author, attempts to create many true emotions about the book and the reality that it was based on. Steinbeck uses images that are very effective and have a large impact on how the characters are perceived. Some of the images show the dismal abyss that the Joad family survived in, and others show hope, endurance, and strength. Some of the most effective images are those of sadness, failure, and devastation, which cause the connection between the unforgiving and tormented land and the anguish and persecution which the resolute Joads must face constantly throughout their lives…show more content…
The land could not really be owned by anyone, and neither could the Joad family, but they could still be abused and mistreated, they could still feel, "the pain on that mattress there -that dreadful pain- that's you" (96). The land had been hurt and the connection between nature and human emotion required that they be hurt too. The land had loved the farmers, and had been good to them, but it was turning against them, even if there was a strong connection between the two. "They knew that a man so hurt and perplexed may turn in anger, even on people he loves" (36). The Joad family understood this though, especially Ma, who knew that she had to stand her ground, no matter how much pain she felt. "She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook...[or] ever really wavered or despaired, the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone" (80). The earth had produced precious food and had provided comfort; Joad had been walking a long time along the beaten road under the searing heat, but nature took care of him, "at the willow he knew there would be shade, at least one hard bar of absolute shade" (18). The family also experienced their own joy and had achieved their own successes; Rose of Sharon provided comfort to a man in need also, she offered a dying man the milk from her breast, even after her baby was barely cold from death. In the end, the
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