Tom Joad's Transformation In The Grapes Of Wrath

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Just as truly learning a language requires continual immersion, constant trials and compelling difficulties in life are a necessary basis for profound personal transformation. In John Steinbeck’s great American novel The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad’s physical surroundings and respective trials prompt significant moral and psychological changes. Initially a rugged character with little respect for anyone’s welfare but his own, through his bleak surroundings Tom gradually gains a deeper insight into the world, learning to love not just his immediate family but also all those who live. The Joads’ grim journey across the wilderness and Tom’s journey deeper into himself reinforce Steinbeck’s message of the ability of hardships in implementing opportunity for growth.…show more content…
The first of his surroundings that shape his character come to light in the scene in which he rejoins the Joads after four years of prison. He desires only to return to his normal life, however the physical surroundings at the initial reunion steer his directive in an altogether different path. Tom has placed himself in a figurative line of fire by returning to his family’s farm—faced by the brutal storms of the dust bowl and the industrial vision of the proprietors; the Joads must leave their land or starve. When he realizes the situation is less than ideal, Tom does not shy away from stepping in to help and making decisions on behalf of the family. His surroundings thrust him into a difficult situation, which forces him to develop his leadership skills in ushering his family into the first leg of the

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