The Themes Of The Joad's Journey In The Grapes Of Wrath

742 WordsSep 28, 20173 Pages
The novel The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck uses analogies throughout the story to reinforce the themes of hardship, struggle, and danger of people heading west in search of a better life during the Depression of the 1930’s. Steinbeck devotes the time and pages early in the story to develop one analogy. The difficult journey of a turtle trying to make its way across the road foreshadows the tribulations of the Joad family’s venture to California. The innocent turtle crossing the highway serves to emphasize the Joad's journey to California, full of hardship and struggle. The Joad’s family is looking for work and a new life in California much like the turtle wanting to continue his journey on the other side of the road, but…show more content…
During the Joad's journey, the family is faced with many hostile people. The turtle as he crosses the road is faced with lethal obstacles. These hostile people and lethal obstacles could threaten both their trips. The turtle finally reaches the pavement after his tough climb up the embankment and a “sedan…swung to the right, off the highway [then] skidded back onto the road”(11). The turtle avoided a near miss analogous to when the Joad's entered into Arizona when a body guard had stopped to interrogate them and possibly turn them away. If the guard found unauthorized plants the Joad's would have been forbidden to pass, but like the turtle they were able to continue. The second vehicle the turtle came to face, intentionally hit the turtle. The truck driver’s actions were deliberate and malicious, sending the turtle into a tailspin. When the Joad's arrived in California they were faced with disgust and prejudice in the eyes of the authorities. They discovered that the sheriffs would “move [them] on” because “they hate [Okies]” (139). The sheriffs knew that if the Okies did not have a place to live they will not be able to find a steady job and eventually will run out of money. Ma Joad promotes her faith and optimism in their future when she explains “having stepped forward, he may step back, but only half a step, never the full step back” (101). She shared that even if they come in contact with obstacles they are only taking
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