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The Grapes of Wrath Analysis (part one)
Huge dust storms blew across the area, at times blocking out the sun and even suffocating those unlucky enough to be caught unprepared. The afflicted region became known as the ?Dust Bowl.?
By the mid-1930s, the drought had crippled countless farm families, and America had fallen into the Great Depression. Unable to pay their debts, many Dust Bowl farmers were forced to leave their land. Without any real employment prospects, thousands of families nonetheless traveled to California in hopes of finding new means of survival. But the farm country of California quickly became overcrowded with the migrant workers. Jobs and food were scarce, and the migrants faced prejudice and hostility from the Californians, who labeled them with the derisive epithet ?Okie.? These workers and their families lived in impoverished camps called 'Hoovervilles', named after President Hoover, who was blamed for the problems that led to the Great Depression. Many of the residents of these camps starved to death, unable to find work.
When Steinbeck decided to write a novel about the plight of migrant farm workers, he took his task very seriously. To prepare, he lived with an Oklahoma farm family and made the journey with them to California. The story of the Joad family captured a turbulent moment in American history and entered both the American consciousness and conscience.? In 1940, the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and adapted to the screen. Although Steinbeck went on to have a productive literary career and won the Novel Prize for Literature in 1962, none of his later books had the impact of The Grapes of Wrath. He died in 1968.
Structure of the Novel
STEINBECK'S TECHNIQUES OF FICTION
The lyrical "interchapters," might seem to have nothing to do with the main "story," but actually they serve as a sort of metaphorical reinforcement of those qualities driving the Joad family onward despite all adversity, ultimately providing at least the hope for eventual triumph. There are 16 interchapters altogether, spanning about 100 pages. Most of these interchapters furnish social background that illuminates the actions of the Joad family (that is, the conflict between the banks and the farmers; buying a car; selling household goods); a few provide historical or other information (the history of migrant labor; land ownership in California; Highway 66). The descriptions of the drought and, later, of the rains record dynamic natural phenomena out of which socio-economic changes are forcibly wrought. The interchapters are always interwoven with chapters before and after, in a manner that will be explained in the commentaries following.
Steinbeck, in short, so often dismissed (or praised) as a "social historian," actually uses a wide variety of symbolic and linguistic instruments to get at the full reality he wishes to communicate. Far from employing "documentary" prose, he utilizes a whole spectrum of techniques: allegorical counterpoint, poetic prose, cinematic description (the use of prose as a camera), dramatic dialogue, and symbolic reference. The result of these various methods must be considered an orchestration rather than a simple recording. Steinbeck, again, begins with a regional problem but renders it universal; he examines partisan conflicts from the standpoint of their human, rather than partisan, elements.
Tom Joad - The novel’s protagonist, and Ma and Pa Joad’s favorite son. Tom is good-natured and thoughtful and makes do with what life hands him. Even though he killed a man and has been separated from his family for four years, he does not waste his time with regrets. He lives fully for the present moment, which enables him to be a great source of vitality for the Joad family. A wise guide and fierce protector, Tom exhibits a moral certainty throughout the novel that imbues him with strength and resolve: he earns the awed respect of his family members as well as the workers he later organizes into unions.
Tom begins the novel in possession of a practical sort of self-interest. Four years in prison, he claims, have molded him into someone who devotes his time and energies to the present moment. The future, which seems illusory and out of reach, does not concern him. He adopts this philosophy toward living not because he is selfish but as a means of coping: he fears that by putting his life in a context larger than the present day, he will drive himself mad with anger and helplessness. Of course, Tom, who exhibits a rare strength, thoughtfulness, and moral certainty, is destined for more than mere day-to-day survival. Tom undergoes the most significant transformation in the novel as he sheds this carpe diem (seize the day) philosophy for a commitment to bettering the future.
During their journey west, Tom assumes the role of Jim Casy’s reluctant disciple. The former preacher emphasizes that a human being, when acting alone, can have little effect on the world, and that one can achieve wholeness only by devoting oneself to one’s fellow human beings. The hardship and hostility faced by the Joad family on their journey west serve to convert Tom to Casy’s teachings. By the time Tom and Casy reunite at the cotton plantation, Tom realizes that he cannot stand by as a silent witness to the world’s injustices; he cannot work for his own family’s well-being if it means taking bread from another family.
Ma Joad - A determined and loving woman, Ma Joad emerges as the family’s center of strength over the course of the novel as Pa Joad gradually becomes less effective as a leader and provider.Time and again, Ma displays a startling capacity to keep herself together—and to keep the family together—in the face of great turmoil. She may demonstrate this faculty best during the family’s crossing of the California desert. Here, Ma suffers privately with the knowledge that Granma is dead, riding silently alongside her corpse so that the family can complete its treacherous journey. This ability to act decisively, and to act for the family’s good, enables Ma to lead the Joads when Pa begins to falter and hesitate. She consistently proves to be the novel’s strongest supporter of family and togetherness. Indeed, the two tendencies are not in conflict but convene in a philosophy of selfless sacrifice. Ma articulates this best, perhaps, when she wordlessly directs her daughter to breast-feed the starving man in Chapter Thirty. With her indomitable nature, Ma Joad suggests that even the most horrible circumstances can be weathered with grace and dignity.
Pa Joad - Ma Joad’s husband and Tom’s father. Pa Joad is a good, thoughtful man, and he plans the family’s trip to California with great care and consideration. The hardships faced by the Joads prove too great for him, however, and although he works hard to maintain his role as head of the family, he complains of muddled thoughts and finds himself in frequent quandaries. He becomes less and less effective in his role as family leader, and Ma points this out directly.
Jim Casy- Steinbeck employs Jim Casy to articulate some of the novel’s major themes. Most notably, the ex-preacher redefines the concept of holiness of the people and essential unity of mankind, suggesting that the most divine aspect of human experience is to be found on earth, among one’s fellow humans, rather than amid the clouds. As a radical philosopher, a motivator and unifier of men, and a martyr, Casy assumes a role akin to that of Jesus Christ—with whom he also shares his initials. Casy begins the novel uncertain of how to use his talents as a speaker and spiritual healer if not as the leader of a religious congregation. By the end of the novel, he has learned to apply them to his task of organizing the migrant workers. Indeed, Casy comes to believe so strongly in his mission to save the suffering laborers that he willingly gives his life for it. Casy’s teachings prompt the novel’s most dramatic character development, by catalyzing Tom Joad’s transformation into a social activist and man of the people.
Rose of Sharon - The oldest of Ma and Pa Joad’s daughters, and Connie’s wife. An impractical, petulant, and romantic young woman, Rose of Sharon begins the journey to California pregnant with her first child. She and Connie have grand notions of making a life for themselves in a city. The harsh realities of migrant life soon disabuse Rose of Sharon of these ideas, however. Her husband abandons her, and her child is born dead. By the end of the novel, she matures considerably, and possesses, the reader learns with surprise, something of her mother’s indomitable spirit and grace.
In the nove we sea the transition of a high-spirited and saucy girl—into a secretive and mysterious woman.
Grampa Joad - Tom Joad’s grandfather. The founder of the Joad farm, Grampa is now old and infirm. Once possessed of a cruel and violent temper, Grampa’s wickedness is now limited almost exclusively to his tongue. He delights in tormenting his wife and shocking others with sinful talk. Although his character serves largely to produce comical effect, he exhibits a very real and poignant connection to the land.
Granma Joad - Granma is a pious Christian, who loves casting hellfire and damnation in her husband’s direction. Her health deteriorates quickly after Grandpa’s death; she dies just after the family reaches California.
Al Joad - om’s younger brother, a sixteen-year-old boy obsessed with cars and girls.
Ivy and Sairy Wilson - A couple traveling to California whom the Joads meet on Highway 66, just before Grampa’s death.
Connie - Rose of Sharon’s husband, Connie is an unrealistic dreamer who abandons the Joads after they reach California. This act of selfishness and immaturity surprises no one but his naïve wife.
Noah Joad - Tom’s older brother. Noah has been slightly deformed since his birth: Pa Joad had to perform the delivery and, panicking, tried to pull him out forcibly. Slow and quiet, Noah leaves his family behind at a stream near the California border, telling Tom that he feels his parents do not love him as much as they love the other children.
Uncle John - Tom’s uncle, who, years ago, refused to fetch a doctor for his pregnant wife when she complained of stomach pains. He has never forgiven himself for her death, and he often dwells heavily on the negligence he considers a sin.
Ruthie Joad - The second and younger Joad daughter. Ruthie has a fiery relationship to her brother Winfield: the two are intensely dependent upon one another and fiercely competitive. When she brags to another child that her brother has killed two men, she inadvertently puts Tom’s life in danger, forcing him to flee.
Winfield Joad - At the age of ten, Winfield is the youngest of the Joad children. Ma worries for his well-being, fearing that without a proper home he will grow up to be wild and rootless.
Floyd Knowles - The migrant worker who first inspires Tom and Casy to work for labor organization. Floyd’s outspokenness sparks a scuffle with the police in which Casy is arrested.
Muley Graves - One of the Joads’ Oklahoma neighbors. When the bank evicts his family, MuleyUncle John’s. refuses to leave his land. Instead, he lets his wife and children move to California without him and stays behind to live outdoors. When he comes upon Tom at the abandoned Joad farm, he directs the young man to his
Tom Joad who has been convicted for killing a man, is released from Oklahoma state prison after 4 years. On his way home, he meets Jim Casy, a former preacher who has given up his preaching because of the belief that all life is holy- even the parts that are typically thought to be sinful. He thinks this sacredness consists simply in trying to be an equal among the people. When they reach home, they find it and all the surrounding farms deserted. The people have been tractored off the land and have headed to California to look for work. Next morning Tom finds Ma and Pa Joad packing up the family's possessions hoping to find fruit-picking job in California.
The journey to California in a very old truck is so hard and long. Grampa unwilling to leave the farm dies shortly after the departure. Old car and trucks full of unworthy possessions of the families the highly full:the entire country is in flight to the Promised Land of California. The Joads meet Ivy and Sairy Wilson and invite them to travel with the family. Sairy is sick and unable to continue the journey.
As joads near California, they hear ominous rumors that 800 jobs are offered to 20000 people.
In the first day in California Granma dies and family members move camp to camp looking in vain for work and food. Noah, the oldest son of the family and Connie, Rose of Sharon's husband abandon the family. The camps are overcrowded and full of starving migrants. The locals are fearful and angry at the flood of newcomers whom they derisively label "Okies". Work is almost impossible to find and pays insufficient even for daily meal. Tom and several other men get into an argument with deputy sheriff over whether workers should organize into a union. Jim Casy knocks the sheriff unconscious and is arrested. In a government-run camp Joads receive more hospitality and find many friends and a bit of work. Once, Tom learns that police in going to locate a riot and will find excuse to shut down the facilities. He announces the men and defeats the danger. Still, the Joads cannot survive without steady work and have to move on. They find picking fruit job but the wage is too little.
Jim Casy is released from the jail an organizing the workers, but he is killed by the police in Tom's presence and Tom kills the police officer and escapes. Tom goes into hiding while the family moves into a boxcar on a cotton farm. One day, Ruthie the youngest Joad daughter, reveals to a girl that her brother has killed two men and is hiding nearby. Therefore Tom should go away. He goes to fulfill Jim's task of organizing the migrant workers. Cotton season ends and there will be no job for three months.
Rain lashes the land, rivers overflow and soon there is a flood over the lands.Rose of Sharon gives sbirth to a stillborn baby whose corpse is given to the river. Ma leads the family to a dry barn.
Here they find a young boy kneeling over his father who is starving to death. He has not eaten for days. Realizing that Rose is producing milk, Ma sends every body outside, so that her daughter can nurse a dying man by letting him to suckle her milk.
چند ضرب المثل انگلیسی چهارشنبه 5 مهر 1391
نمونه هایی از گفتگوهای تجاری (بخش دوم) چهارشنبه 5 مهر 1391
نمونه هایی از گفتگوهای تجاری (بخش اول) چهارشنبه 5 مهر 1391
اندرزهای شکسپیر برای لذت از زندگی دوشنبه 27 شهریور 1391
چند اصطلاح در بر دارنده ی نام های حیوانات به صورت تست های چند گزینه ای شنبه 21 مرداد 1391
برخی لغات انگلیسی که ریشه فارسی دارند. چهارشنبه 13 مهر 1390
تقویت مهارت خواندن و درک مفاهیم جمعه 18 شهریور 1390
نمونه سوال: شعر ساده دوشنبه 13 تیر 1390
Beauty شنبه 11 تیر 1390
Paradox of Our Times شنبه 11 تیر 1390
مقاله: معیارهای ترجمه متون دینی شنبه 11 تیر 1390
پیشنهادهایی در ترجمه نوشته های علمی و تحقیقی (بخش دوم) شنبه 11 تیر 1390
پیشنهادهایی در ترجمه نوشته های علمی و تحقیقی (بخش اول) شنبه 11 تیر 1390
مقاله: پست مدرنیسـم و فرآینـد جهـانی شدن شنبه 11 تیر 1390
معرفی کتاب برای listening جمعه 3 تیر 1390
معرفی کتاب برای یادگیری grammar جمعه 3 تیر 1390
ده سوالی که خداوند از شما نمی پرسد... دوشنبه 30 خرداد 1390
چگونه انگلیسی بنویسیم شنبه 28 خرداد 1390
نمونه سوال اصول و روش ترجمه جمعه 20 خرداد 1390
روش تشخیص main idea چهارشنبه 18 خرداد 1390
چگونه مهارت درک مطلب را بهبود بخشیم. چهارشنبه 18 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی ( بخش سیزدهم) دوشنبه 9 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی ( بخش دوازدهم) دوشنبه 9 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش یازدهم) دوشنبه 9 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش دهم) سه شنبه 3 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش نهم) سه شنبه 3 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش هشتم) سه شنبه 3 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش هفتم) سه شنبه 3 خرداد 1390
آموزش ابتدایی زبان انگلیسی (بخش ششم) سه شنبه 3 خرداد 1390
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