Themes In John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath

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Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, is hailed as one of the greatest american novels of all time. It is filled with many different people, and is set in the disaster known as the Dust Bowl. The book tackles a wide variety of issues, all of them directly relating to the Dust Bowl. Steinbeck varies from other authors in his writing style, in that he chooses to focus on the character's dialogue to fully define the character. In this process John does more than reveal the character's beliefs. Steinbeck's use of dialects and dialogues enhance the themes of the novel by clarifying the viewpoints of the characters conveying the themes. The themes of Humanity and Mercy are characterized more by acts than anything else, but the inclusion…show more content…
Many people felts a deep connection to their land, “Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away. And Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came and he had to borrow a little money. An’ we was born here. There in the door— our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we raised.” (136) People form deep connections with the land they live on. These individuals have spent generations fighting and even killing for their land. There is a connection between these people and their land, but it can be a negative connection. Muley Graves lives on another's land which used to be his. “Them dirty sons-a-bitches. I tell ya, men, I’m stayin’. They ain’t gettin’ rid a me. If they throw me off, I’ll come back, an’ if they figger I’ll be quiet underground, why, I’ll take a couple-three of the sons-a-bitches along for company.’” (172) Muley is the example of why honor can be a bad thing. He broke up his family to stay on his land. The connection to the land can overshadow other important aspects of life, like personal safety, or the well being up of one's family. The quotes are effective contributions to the theme, because not only does honor cost life, but it also overshadows other responsibilities. The use quotes gives a more direct insight into…show more content…
Ma is titled as the citadel of the family, and her actions an words show it. “What we got lef’ in the worl’? Nothin’ but us. Nothin’ but the folks. We come out an’ Grampa, he reached for the shovel-shelf right off. An’ now, right off, you wanna bust up the folks——’” (348) Ma believes thoroughly that the family has to stick together, because that is all they have. She notes the sacrifices made by the family up to this point. Ma's acts of family kindness extend to the community as well, “As far as ‘kin,’ we can’t do nothin’, not go to California or nothin’; but as far as ‘will,’ why, we’ll do what we will. An’ as far as ‘will’—it’s a long time our folks been here and east before, an’ I never heerd tell of no Joads or no Hazletts, neither, ever refusin’ food an’ shelter or a lift on the road to anybody that asked. They’s been mean Joads, but never that mean.’” (242) Ma pressures the group to take Casy on the trip to California. Ma raises the point that one more mouth to feed really isn't that much, and she also raises the point that the family has never been on to turn down a person in need. Ma's constant desire for compassion in the group well summarizes the theme of Family and Community. Also worth mentioning is the dialect of all these "Okies" in the book. It serves to set them apart from most people, but it then furthers the idea of connectedness between them. It also well explains the setting. Ma, holding on

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