Nature In John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath

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John Steinbeck, in the novel, Grapes of Wrath, suggests that the holistic idea of nature is a functional character. Steinbeck supports his assertion through the extensive use of imagery, symbolism and deterministic characterization. The author’s purpose is to present nature as a developing force on the human characters in both antagonistic and favorable ways so that the reader can thoroughly grasp the immense impact of nature in the characters’ lives as well as to accentuate the relationship between man and nature. The author writes in a generally remorseful and enraged tone throughout the novel for an audience who did not experience the migrant struggles firsthand so that they can also experience sympathy for the migrants. Steinbeck’s use of imagery develops nature as a character in the novel by making it a more complex and realistic entity for…show more content…
In the first paragraph of chapter 1, the vivid description of the resulting devastation from the Dust Bowl on the land in Oklahoma transports the audience into the scene, blossoming an unprecedented sense of sympathy for not only the people who lived there, but also for the land. “These Oklahoman…farming lands comprise more than just setting in the story…just as a person may suffer, so does the land that the people of his story occupy” (Ridout). The devastating Dust Bowl described in this intercalary has a clear catastrophic effect on the farmers in the region. The farmers are forced off of their land full of dead crops and given virtually no choice in having to leave Oklahoma in search of a means of survival. This interrupts the previously vital relationship between man and land. This mutualistic relationship consisted of man working the land and providing what it needed to grow, while the land in turn provided crops
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