What are the main themes of John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath"

Essay by dancersgfHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

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The Grapes of Wrath Essay

In the classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family, who was evicted from their land, decides to migrate out west to California for a chance at survival. John Steinbeck, the author of the novel, uses multiple literary techniques to convey the theme of brotherhood. Steinbeck uses the self-family-society motif, biblical allusion, and logical ending to portray this theme.

An example of character development is a character that evolves from self indulgence into caring about his or her family, and then finally society. Many characters in the novel complete this cycle, especially Tom Joad. When we first meet Tom in chapter two, he is walking down the road in a cheap new suit because he was just released from prison. Tom convinces a trucker to give him a ride. Throughout the duration of the trip, the trucker questions Tom, which irritates him. Soon, Tom observes that the trucker was looking at him and noticing Tom's new clothes.

This begins to agitate Tom even more and he reacts by crushing a grasshopper with his fingers. At this point, Tom only cares about himself preoccupied with the truck driver's annoying questions. Later in the novel, Tom starts to show his care for his family when he knocks Uncle John unconscious. Uncle John is drunk and wants to be by himself and leave the family, but Tom, knowing his mother would not approve of a family separation, takes Uncle John back to the truck to unite with the family. This shows how Tom is

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starting to care about his family by keeping them together. Towards the end of the novel, Tom starts to show his concern for society. This is proven when Tom shares some of Jim Casy's philosophy with his mother- that...