John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". It also examines defiance found in the film "Cool Hand Luke" and the "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.

Essay by TickleMeEmyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

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Without Hope, All is Lost

Piercings and tattoos, riots and broken bottles, vandalism and crime; these are all aspects that come to mind when a person hears the word defiance. Defiance is often perceived to be negative, unnecessary, and destructive, while in reality can be a vital part of life. There are numerous aspects to defiance, many of which are positive and necessary to ensure survival. However, it is necessary to have the essence of hope in order for defiance to reveal its true success. Many books and movies portray defiance and the element of hope, along with the success the combination can bring. The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, illustrates the essential need for hope with the element of defiance. Hope is what creates the positive aspect of defiance; without it, ultimate defiance and sacrifice leads only to insanity.

The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of the Joad Family's journey from Oklahoma to California.

The Joads, as well as Casy, the preacher who accompanies them, are the true example that hope, faith, and sacrifice leads to pure and positive defiance. Each member of the family was defiant in some aspect throughout the novel, and the defiance always combines the necessary element of hope. Casy was clearly the most obvious defiant character. He had been a preacher, but left the church and its ideals. He began founding his own beliefs, regardless of the opinions of society. Even though Casy lost faith in the traditional religious beliefs, he did not lose faith in himself. Casy was rebellious and defiant against set beliefs and being thrust into a position by society. When the Joads finally arrived in California, Casy did not accept the ridiculous wagers the workers were getting. Soon, instead of just joining strikes, Casy became a leader.