Examples Of Altruism In The Grapes Of Wrath

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Love Thy Neighbor Altruism is considered an influential force in human nature, and The Grapes of Wrath encourages this aspect of human nature. During the Joad’s Exodus, the family commingled with a hodgepodge of characters and either disseminating or learning messages of purpose and identity, truth, hospitality, generosity, compassion, and the human family with each interaction. John Steinbeck, by the usage of characterization and imagery, articulates how humans can support each other’s livelihood in his novel The Grapes of Wrath. An essential part of assisting the promotion of well-being is to help an individual with the discovery of their identity and purpose. No other character needed this assistance as much as Jim Casey, a fallen…show more content…
Being a mother herself, she cannot stand when hungry children are surrounding her, “moonin’” over food like it’s been a month since they have eaten (Steinbeck 259). Ma was cooking for her own family, but she “let ‘em have what’s lef’” because she did not want the children to continue to be hungry (Steinbeck 257). It can be concluded that Ma is a benevolent women, willing to feed strangers craving sustenance, but is also prudent in how she insures her own family is fed before the children because they are her first commitment. Steinbeck uses imagery as well when “there was a sound of scraping at the kettle”, and Ma had to look away (Steinbeck 258). The scene was so pitiful and heartbreaking she could not watch. The imagery is effective towards the reader because it creates an image of half-starved children desperately scavenging for food. In modeling their suffering, Steinbeck makes the reader care about the situation and convince him to consider the needs of the masses. Otherwise, the reader would not have cared because who truly cares about an issue until they see it first…show more content…
This is when Rose of Sharon “bared her breast” and gave an old dying man her breastmilk (Steinbeck 455). When she realized her duty, “her breath came short and gasping” (Steinbeck 454). This imagery informs the audience that she may be a slightly overwhelmed because never before in the novel had she had so much responsibility. Furthermore, it clarifies that Rose of Sharon is aware of the gravity and depth of what must be done. This is a fascinating conclusion to The Grapes of Wrath because this event symbolizes the familial bond of the human race that impresses the responsibility and obligation of nurturing. Not only that, but Rose of Sharon is a phrase used in the Song of Solomon to describe the female as “a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys” (Sos 2:1). This book in the Bible refers to the holiness of matrimony and glorifies intimacy. Motherly intimacy is shown in the novel when “[Rose of Sharon’s] fingers moved gently in his hair” (Steinbeck 455) as she nursed the old man. This quote from the Bible shows that Rose of Sharon is a divine, motherly figure that is meant to help rescue the human race. In addition, due to the nursing of the old man, and Rose of Sharon as an established caretaker, the old man has been reduced to a childlike state, completing the bond of the human

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