The Grape Of Wrath And I

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2001

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The Grapes of Wrath and I In the book The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck states the story of Joad family's migrating to California after the "Dust Bowl" disaster in Oklahoma. I learn from the book about, and Ma, who always keeps confidence and persistence to life when she and her family confront the environmental and social difficulties. Because of her faith, she leads the family overcoming the upcoming troubles.

I find my situation was similar to Ma's, as she is a migrant from Oklahoma while I am an immigrant from China, and we both choose to stay in California for better life. However, my goal is not only to survive but thrive. When I first came to California, I found the reality was worse than what I had expected. Loneliness, unfamiliarity, pressure and even language discrimination surrounded and discouraged me days after days. I once gave up but I felt shameful when I remembered Ma, who never gives up in a much harder circumstance.

I recalled my persistence and confidence and work hard as she. I tried my best to be open-minded, participate in school activities, study and work hard and so forth. Through these efforts, I get to know more people, learn more the school, the society and the world. My English level has greatly improved from English for International Students level so I can take regular English classes; I have also worked my way up from a kitchen helper to a waitress, a college math tutor, and now a bank teller, from which I have accumulated much experience. Now I plan to step further to my goal of thriving, which is to study in the University of Southern California.

I know now that I am not easily defeated. During these past two years I have become more capable, independent, self-confident and self-determined; my problem solving skills have also improved. I truly appreciate The Grapes of Wrath, from which I know about Ma Joad, who has been encouraging me to strive forward.