And some readers may experience both reactions in turn—or even simultanously.But the fact that we recognize the Joads as archetypes in the first place means that Steinbeck at least partially achieves his goal.
The cold, soaked earth, which was a source of life not too long ago, abducts a young child while the mother can only watch hopelessly as the husband shovels mounds of dirt.
This event is not too different than most that citizens living during the Dust Bowl had to deal with.
Written by: John Steinbeck Type of Work: novel Genres: historical fiction First Published: 1939 Setting: the Great Depression; Oklahoma Main Characters: Tom Joad; Ma Joad; Jim Casy; Rose of Sharon Joad; Pa Joad Major Thematic Topics: love; strength in unity; re-birth; survival Motifs: disrupted power structures Major Symbols: turtle crossing the road; vacant houses; Ma Joad; the truck The three most important aspects of The Grapes of Wrath: Removing #book# from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.
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Tom Joad is the young everyman, a good person forced to develop a social conscience.
Ma Joad is the universal mother, the nurturer who rallies to support her family and sacrifices her own comfort for their sake.
In the end, the reaction The Grapes of Wrath evokes will depend on the mood and mentality of the individual reader.
Some may find the epic sweep of the Joads’ life inspiring and devastating precisely because the Joads can represent all of humanity; others may find that the Joads’ everyman status makes them opaque or even boring.
John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad and his family are forced from their farm in the Depression-era Oklahoma Dust Bowl and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of jobs, land, and hope for a brighter future.
Considered John Steinbeck's masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath is a story of human unity and love as well as the need for cooperative rather than individualistic ideals during hard times.