Grapes of Wrath1

The Grapes of Wrath - Joads Journey-

Through out history man has made many journeys, far and wide.
Moses\'s great march through the Red Sea and Columbus\'s transversing
the Atlantic are only, but a few of mans great voyages. Even today,
great journeys are being made. Terry Fox\'s run across Canada while
having cancer is one of these such journeys. In every one of these
instances people have had to rise above themselves and over come
emence odds, similar to a salmon swimming up stream to fullfill it\'s
life line. Intense drive and extreme fortitude are qualities they had
to possess during their travels. In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
shows the Joads endurance by his use of extended metaphors in
intercalary chapters.

Steinbeck uses intercalary chapters to provide background for the
various themes in the novel. This effectively forshadows upcoming
events by telling of the general state of the local population in the
intercalary chapters and then narrowing it down to how it effects the
main characters of the novel, the Joads. Setting the tone of the novel
in the readers mind is another function of Steinbeck\'s intercalary

In chapter three, Steinbeck emaculatly describes the long tedious
journey of a land turtle across a desolate highway. From the onset of
his journey, the turtle encounters many set backs. All along the way
he is hindered by ants, hills, and oak seeds under his shell. The
turtles determination to reach his destination is most apparent when a
truck driven by a young man swerves to hit the turtle. The turtle\'s
shell was clipped and he went flying off the highway, but stop the
turtle did not. He struggled back to his belly and kept driving toward
his goal, just as the Joads kept driving toward their goal.

Much like the turtle from chapter three, the Joads had to face
many great hardships in their travels. The planes of Oklahoma, with
their harsh summer weather, was the Joads desolate highway. The truck
driver represented the Californians, whom Buried food and killed live
stock to keep the Joads and others like them away from their dream.
And sickness was their ants and hills. But even through all of this
the Joads persevered. They were driven by great motivating powers -
poverty and hunger. Just as the turtle searched for food, the Joads
were searching for paradise, "the garden of Eden."

The Joad\'s journey is second to none in terms of adversity and
length. The Joads incredible ability to over come all odds and keep
going is epitomized in intercalary chapter three. Steinbeck uses his
rendition of facts, the "turtle" chapter, to parallel the Joads
struggle to reach the promise land. Just as the turtle endured, so did
the Joads. Never digressing from their strait and narrow path to

The Grapes of Wrath is an eye-opening novel which deals with the struggle for survival
of a migrant family of farmers in the western United States. The book opens with a
narrative chapter describing Oklahoma, and the overall setting. It sets the mood of an
area which has been ravished by harsh weather. "The sun flared down on the growing
corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet.
The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so
the earth became pale, pink in the red country, and white in the gray country."
(Steinbeck pg.3) Steinbeck, in a detailed fashion described the area in great detail. Not
only was the area stricken by a drought and extreme temperatures, but to add to the
difficulties, the families of the area were bombarded by high winds and dust storms
which barraged their houses, crops, and moral. The idea was made clear, quite early,
that the farming plains of Oklahoma were a cruel and difficult place for a family to make
a successful living.

The reader is first introduced to a character by the name of Tom Joad, a man who has
been released early from the penitentiary on parole after serving four years of his seven
year sentence. Tom, once released, begins the trip back home to his family on their
forty acre farming estate.