The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1549 Words6 Pages
Not only did the 1930s see the Great Depression, where America faced severe economic downturn, but it also brought the Dust Bowl. Due to overzealous agriculture practices, the soil of the Great Plains turned to dust and blew away, sending many people away with it. With all of the turmoil, many Americans fell back on religion. The novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck chronicles the fictional Joad family, giving a harsh, yet realistic depiction of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the journey from Oklahoma to California. On their travels, the Joads bring along the former preacher, Jim Casy, who often serves as a voice for Steinbeck’s attitudes towards religion. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck critiques characters who display blind devotion toward religion, enjoying its ease and simplicity, and favors those who are able to think for themselves and benefit in meaningful ways from their religion. Steinbeck's pitfalls of blind devotion, especially its tendencies towards isolation and lack of human connection, are exposed through his depiction of the character Mrs. Sandry. While the Joad family stays in a government camp in California called Weedpatch, the oldest daughter, Rose of Sharon, who is now pregnant, encounters Mrs. Sandry. Mrs. Sandry is a deeply religious, but somewhat odd and misfit woman who lives at the camp. She takes the time to warn Rose of Sharon about sin taking place around them. At the end of their conversation, she leaves Rose of Sharon
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