The Grapes of Wrath is a novel written by John Steinbeck. The story begins with Al Joad and his family, who were farmers in Oklahoma. They decided to leave because the land was not good for farming anymore. The dust storms ruined the crops and there was no money left after buying food for their family of ten. The only option was to leave Oklahoma in search of a better place to live. The Joad family loaded up their belongings and headed for California, which was known as the “promised land. The book’s title came from Al’s favorite hymn, John Thompson The Death of the Vigor.
The lyrics go “The grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, falling in the highway and streets. ” The grapes represented how much anger there was towards the banks who took over farms. The people were angry at how they lost everything they worked for–their homes and land–because of losing crops during dust storms. The families had so many debts that if they did not pay them off right away, then they would be out on the street with nowhere to go.
The people in California promised jobs and land to farm, so they headed West. The Joads joined many other families who were also on their way to California. The pack of cars looked like grapes in the highway because they stretched for miles. The Joad family was very hopeful that everything would be okay once they got to California, but they were quickly let down when presented with an entirely different scene than what they expected.
They noticed how dirty it was, with trash lining the streets and lots full of dust. The houses were packed together with no space between them; a few had a single-window added onto each side of the house because there wasn’t enough room inside for everyone. The whole town smelled like garbage and rotting food due to not being able to be picked up because of the lack of employees. The government only supplied the people with one meal a day which was not enough for more than just one person in each family.
The picture painted for them was completely different from what it really was. The Joads left Oklahoma with hope but had none once they arrived at California. The families who were already living there did not have good lives either, so Al Joad suggested they go down south where cotton would be available and less crowded. The people agreed and headed down south, while leaving their broken dreams behind in California.
The only reason Al would receive this treatment is because to the people of Oklahoma, a murderer is a man. The people in Oklahoma have not been exposed to the idea of someone killing a man for a good cause, and they will never understand what Tom did or why he did it. The townspeople admire Tom for being able to do what they themselves could not do. The fact that Tom killed another man makes him “a man” in their eyes. Al Joad’s lifestyle, up until the time his family moves to California, was what we would call today as modern day poor.
The Joads live off very little money and survive on little food and water; but Al lives basically like everyone else around him: by working hard six days a week and by going out on Saturday night and having some fun before going back to work. The Joad family’s lifestyle wasn’t really any different than anyone else’s until the time came when they had to pack up and leave for California, which is where everyone was saying that all the jobs were at.
The modern day poor way of life Al lived would be just as bad as being stuck in mud: it would take no effort to get yourself out of the situation, you just stay where you are and keep sinking lower into your situation until someone or something drags you out of it. The idea that the only thing keeping the modern day poor from changing their lifestyles is themselves prevents them from ever getting anything done; they don’t try to change their lot in life because they think that they can’t do it.
The modern day poor is the society of today, and they will never try to change anything about themselves. They live a certain way and they die a certain way all under the assumption that things are going to stay the same until death comes their way. The people Al lived around would not have ever changed their lifestyles even if someone had given them a million dollars because they believed that nothing could be done about it.
The old saying “Waste not want not” was very popular among those who were living off of little money; if you throw away something, then you won’t have anything left at all except for what you may need to survive such as food and water. The idea of “waste not want not” is very important to the people of The Grapes of Wrath because it means that you cannot be wasteful with food, water, or any other resources that are essential for survival. The phrase can also be interpreted as meaning that if you need something then don’t throw away anything until your sure you won’t need it anymore.
The Joads were extremely wasteful when they first started moving towards California because they had never experienced hard times before and didn’t know how to handle themselves in hard times; eventually the Joad family learned to apply this saying during their time on the road. The concept of face was a big part in The Grapes of Wrath . The characters would try to save face in front of anyone they were around at the time. The concept of face is defined as someone’s pride or dignity; saving face means that they are trying to live up to their own standards.
If someone knows that they did something wrong, then it would be very hard for them to do anything about it because their entire livelihood is resting on the idea that you can’t change yourself once you’ve made it. The people described in The Grapes Of Wrath always try to save face by telling lies and tall tales when in truth they didn’t know what really happened so all there was left to do was make up a story. The people living during this time never stop to think about whether or not they should tell stories because everyone around them does it as well so they think that it’s the normal thing to do.
The concept of face plays a huge role in The Grapes of Wrath because there is a very high possibility to lose your dignity and pride and potentially be left with nothing. The Grapes Of Wrath: Description Al Joad and The Setting The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939 during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family, who were forced off their farm during The Dust Bowl (a period in time where farming became increasingly difficult due to drought).