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CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

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"AND""OR"

The Grapes of Wrath
(Essay #4) Steinbeck's the Grapes of Wrath deals with a mid western family's tribulations in a time of economic peril. the book describes the Joads move out west after losing their familial land in Oklahoma. the Joads as can be expected did not end the book the same way in which they started it. the Joads individually, but more importantly as a family evolved into completely different people than we saw as they embarked on their journey. The Joads' many experiences along the way changed them. From Tom's act of murder, and subsequent hiding, to the tragedy of losing a baby the Joads evolved. When they left Oklahoma Granma and granpa were the family leaders, however that soon changed. the Grandparents' power was derived from their connection to the land. Once they left Oklahoma the power went to the father, pa. Yet pa could not keep his power for long and the family leadership fell to ma. This is illustrated by how powerfully she intimidated Tom when he wanted to stay back with the Wilson's car. Another reason why the Joads changed so much was that the actual physical makeup of their family changed. First granma and granpa died, leaving a considerable void in the family. Noah and Connie left to go their own ways. Al considered his fiancee more important than the family, and Tom decided to go off and finish Casy's work. Instead of being the warm functioning sharecroppers from Oklahoma, they became the typical Urban individuals. Now instead of collectively making sure that the farm was functioning on a daily basis, they now were making sure that their lives were functioning properly. the Joads had completely evolved into a family that typified urban rather than rural society. Even though the Joads evolved into what one might consider a dysfunctional family their evolution did represent some positive results. Although they lost their familial kinship, they were now able to gain new relationships and identities. They now had a kinship with all the other migrants, specifically with the Wilson's and Wainwrights. Although the Joads lost their childlike innocence not all was lost. A new chapter in their lives began, and they too would adjust.

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