Oppression In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath illustrates the hardships and oppression suffered by migrant laborers during the Great Depression through Tom Joad and his family. The novel starts with Tom Joad being released from a prison and returning to his hometown. He is on his way to his family and home – the place where his farm awaits. On his way to the farm, Tom encounters Jim, a former preacher, and takes him to his house. Yet when the two arrive, his family farm is gone; everyone has been tractored off, and the all farms are deserted. A remaining neighbor tells Tom that most families have headed to California in search of new work. Tom and Jim set out to Uncle John’s to find Tom’s family members. When Tom and Jim meet the family, Tom’s mother and father tell them about the advertisement on fruit-picking jobs in California – their only hope for survival. Tom and Jim agree to join the family’s journey. However, the Joad family’s journey to California is very tough. Granma and Grampa Joad die on the road, Noah and Connie abandon…show more content…
The land is full of starving newcomers competing for work, and the locals are worried about the great flood of migrants. The Joad family cannot find work, and pitifully, Jim gets arrested for injuring the sheriff. After Jim’s arrest, fortunately, the Joad family move to a camp operated by the government, and lives a more satisfactory life. But one day, Tom learns about the truth about their employment – breaking the worker’s strike – and the police’s plan for a riot in the camp. Tom organizes the men in the camp with Jim, who is recently released from jail. Yet, during the process, the police kill Jim, and Tom revenges by killing a police officer himself. Tom hides, and continues organizing migrant workers. The novel then ends with the famous scene – Rose of Sharon nursing the starved man with her breast milk she cannot feed to her dead

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