Summary Of Characters In The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

832 WordsSep 5, 20174 Pages
In “the Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck not only highlights the many hardships faced by reluctant travelers in the Dust Bowl, but showcases their bravery and determination in their search for better lives. In chapter three of the novel, Steinbeck reveals his belief that all people possess the power to create new lives for themselves through metaphor in a turtle, wild oats, and speeding trucks. In chapter three of his legendary tale, Steinbeck writes about a turtle crossing a highway, which is a metaphor for not only the Joads’ journey to California, but for every person who will ever leave their home in a desperate search for a new and better life. Steinbeck strategically characterizes the journeying turtle as determined when he states…show more content…
In these words, Steinbeck reveals how the turtle is objectified by the merciless truck driver and treated with immense disrespect. This horrible treatment of the turtle is a metaphor for how people in search of a new life and home are treated poorly and unfairly by others for unjustified reasons. Steinbeck makes this fact apparent through the Joads’ encounters with police officers in California. The Joads are constantly treated with disrespect by authorities and are called nasty names such as “Okies” on numerous different occasions. This unfair treatment highlights the courage and diligence in travelers, as they face cruelty daily and continue to push on, unwavered. Much like the turtle that keeps moving after being hit by a truck, the travelers persist and prove that no obstacle can prevent them from creating the new life for which they are so desperately searching. Steinbeck continues to utilize metaphor via wild oats in order to prove the power humans possess. As the turtle climbs the embankment to reach the highway, “one head of oats [is] clamped into the shell by a front leg” (Steinbeck 15). Steinbeck’s careful diction in this phrase reveals his inspiring belief that people are capable of creating new lives for themselves when he states that the seeds get stuck in the turtle’s shell “by a front leg.” These words disclose the fact that the seeds attach to the turtle because of the turtle’s movements. This means that the turtle is the

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