Grapes Of Wrath Character Analysis

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John Steinbeck’s, Grapes of Wrath, irrefutably illustrates the harsh and disturbing reality of The Great Depression, as well as the struggles that were associated with the event. Steinbeck’s characterization of Tom Joad―one that shares similarities of that with Biff Loman―reveals Steinbeck’s intention to make a character that takes on a spiritual evolution; a character that grows from a fragile and vulnerable person to one that has ever grown ambitions of the future and is a philosophical leader. Though Tom suffers various forms of disdain, his never-yielding will to survive captures the true essence of the The Great Depression. Jim Casy’s influence on Tom proves to be vital for the ongoing themes evident in the novel. Casy’s impact on Tom…show more content…
These themes help us understand Tom’s role as a leader in the novel. The turtle is enclosed by a shell emphasizing Tom’s confinement as a character. Furthermore the quotation, “At last he started to climb the embankment . . . line of march” (15), suggests Tom’s persistence and resilience in the novel. During this time period the ability to have persistence and patience is the only way for one to survive because the consequences of History play a major role in the way these Okies are perceived. In addition, we could say that the way in which the turtle approaches the embankment, “not really walking, but boosting and dragging his shell along” (14), presents the reader with an insight to the Joads’ migration to California. This is because when Tom’s role in the novel is similar to that of the turtle it shows that Tom is the one trying to push the family to a brighter future, but he is restrained by his family’s limitations: Rose of Sharon’s pregnancy, his grandparents’ age and the children (Ruthie and Winfield). And even though the Joads hold the dream of prosperity in their hearts: “I’m gonna pick me a wash tub full a grapes, an’ I’m gonna set in ‘em, an’ scrooge aroun’, an’ let the juice run down my pants” (93), these ambitious feats cannot be accomplished due to fact that during The Great Depression people could not be successful when still having their dignity. The Joads, in particular, are great examples of this because even though they may not have been able to accomplish all what they hoped for, they still managed to retain their

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