Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck (491 words) Essay

Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck
Purpose Essentially, The Grapes of Wrath is a novel of social protest. It was
designed to inform the public of the migrant’s plight. It is a plea for the land
owners of California and the banks in the dust bowl states to be more tolerant.

It shows how the migrants were made to starve by the California land owners and
banks just so they could turn a profit. It shows many of the methods that they
used to cheat the migrants out of money and keep them from organizing. Ma Joad
Ma Joad is the backbone of the Joad family. When things were really bad the
family turned to her and not to Pa. The family gauged their own emotions by
looking at her reaction. She knew that if she faltered then the whole family
would collapse. She is always concerned for the welfare of her own family, but
still tries to help others as much as possible as show by her helping of the
Wilsons and when she gave food to the children in the camp when she barely had
enough to feed the family anyway. She fights throughout the book to keep the
family together, and without her the family would have fallen apart quickly. In
spite of this she still sees that the family is breaking apart. She fights this
as much as possible, but isn’t completely successful. She knows that if Pa ever
gives up, the family will collapse, so sometimes she goads him into anger so
that he doesn’t. Jim Casy The preacher, Jim Casy, can be seen as a modern day
Christ figure, except for without the Christian Doctrine. The initials of his
name, J.C., are the same as Jesus Christ. When he is saying grace in chapter
eight, he compares himself to Jesus: “I been in the hills, thinkin’, almost
you might say like Jesus wen into the wilderness to think His way out of
troubles.”(pg 70-71) Casy believed in the Emersonian Over-Soul, that we are
all have a small part of a larger soul, and everybody is holy. As Tom said,
“one time he went out in the wilderness to find his soul, an’ he foun’ he
jus’ got a little piece of a great big soul.”(pg 373) He just wants to be
around people because he sees everybody as being holy. He also thinks that
people working in cooperation is holy: “When they’re all workin’ together,
not one fella for another fell, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole
shebang — that’s right, that’s holy”(pg 71). In the first half of the book
Casy is thinking and forming his ideas. He changes from a thinker to an man of
action when he sacrifices himself for Tom. When in prison Casy sees the
advantage of organizing people to achieve a common goal. When Casy tried to put
his ideas into action he, like Christ, aroused the antagonism of the people in
authority and was brutally slain. He died, like Christ saying to his crucifiers,
“You don’ know what you’re a-doin.”

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