Sunday, January 16, 2011

Essay on Grapes of Wrath

Essay on Grapes of Wrath

Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, is about a struggling farm family finding their way out west during the dust bowl. This book describes in detail the reality of life conditions and hardships that migrant workers were put through, and also helps people to understand the migrant way of life. The book has good framework, but the overall structure needs some touch-ups. In the main framework of the book, the intercalary chapters need to be more clarified. They tend to just jump out at you with no significance until the conflict has come and gone. Steinbeck seemed to use a lot of symbols to express hidden meanings and foreshadowing.


Intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath were mostly focused in on foreshadowing soon-to-come events with symbolism. John Steinbeck used symbolism often throughout the entire book. He used imagery to enhance his use of symbolism. In intercalary chapters, such as Chapter 3, he made the symbols “come to life.” An example of this imagery would be, “Sow bugs like little armadillos.” (p32) The turtle in Chapter 3 symbolizes the whole story of the struggle for the Joads’ life from beginning through their travels to California. Then, as the book progresses, Steinbeck displaces the symbolism into characters and their roles. His main proof would be in Casy, an ex-preacher, and how he shows such Christ-like actions in his life. Casy went off into nature to think for awhile, just like Christ. Also, he showed many different signs of Christ-like actions such as: leading the people; his last words, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do;” and how he died—being killed by authority figures. In biblical text, Christ was killed by government employees and His last words were, “Forgive them Father they know not what they do.”

All of the killing and conflict in the story helped better explain his symbols throughout the book since almost all of the symbols were in intercalary chapters portrayed as some kind of animal. Also, most all of the symbols in the book were foreshadows for future conflicts which allows the reader to come into contact with the conflict without knowing. In Chapter 17, Steinbeck compares all of the people on the road to bugs, and how they seem to be “swarming” to one place, one following the other, hoping to get to the jobs in California before the next family. This shows how all of the migrant workers seem to be going where there is food and to a place where they think is safest for their families. However, in Chapter 3 the turtle shows the struggle of how cruel and heartless people can be; while some will avoid you, others will be out to get you, and always willing to step on the little guy to get just a little higher in the food chain. With the imagery enhancing the symbolism, the characters to act it out, and the conflicts to express an end result, symbolism plays a large part in this novel.

Steinbeck’s choice of expressionism in foreshadowing was mainly through symbolism in this book. He showed it in the characters by giving them biblical significance without making it obvious. Using imagery, the novel managed to bring the symbols to life as well as give them some kind of rhythm. Grapes of Wrath expressed the end results of the symbolization of the intercalary chapters through the conflict of this novel. This shows great power in the framework of the book using symbolism as a vertebrate in the spine of the book and shows how strong symbolism can be in the world of writing.

Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Grapes of Wrath topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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