Grapes Of Wrath Character Analysis Essay

1256 Words 6 Pages
The setting of The Grapes of Wrath sets the stage for the struggles and the change the Joad family has to face. The drought of the 1930s forces the Joads to leave everything they know and move to California in order to find a better life. The Joad family has a clue to what awaits them at their destination nor do they know what awaits them on the long journey itself. The author, John Steinbeck, develops three dynamic characters - Ma Joad, Tom Joad, and Jim Casy - to illustrate three similar, but different, journeys. They are all forced to evolve to survive and, with evolution, they lose a part of themselves, but they also gain a better understanding of their own individuality. The author uses the plight of the unfortunate farmers only as a mere …show more content…
Pa Joad, who would traditionally be the head of the household, was emotionally crippled by the fact that he could not support his family. The Joad family needed a strong figure to support them on their travels to economic prosperity or they would fall into a depression like Pa. So, Ma Joad began to take on that role, even at her own expense. She, along with the rest of the Joads, had to give up her whole life. She says, “‘I never had my house pushed over,’ she said. ‘I never had my fambly stuck out on the road. I never had to sell – ever 'thing – Here they come now.’” (Ma Joad, 73), and she is obviously struggling with the realization that she must sell everything, risk everything, to reach a new life for herself and her family. When Granma dies, she must hide it from her family because it will only hurt them, but she must deal with it silently for the greater good. But, she hides these personal struggles from her family, so her family does not have to suffer with the fact that she is suffering; she does not want them to worry. As well as protect them, Ma Joad would try and promote the family’s morale, but also show them the reality of their situation with comments such as, “‘They 's a time of change, an ' when that comes, dyin ' is a piece of all dyin ', and bearin ' is a piece of all bearin ', …show more content…
It started when he established doubts on what is holy and what is sin. He left his church to look for these answers his religion could not. When the author introduces him, Casy was narrowing his focus around an earth interpretation that all souls are a part of a larger spirit and that is called the Holy Spirit. He explains to Tom Joad that, “Just Jim Casy now. Ain 't got the call no more. Got a lot of sinful idears – but they seem kinda sensible,” (Jim Casy, 15), and that his were rejected and even feared by the church. In order to start his journey, Casy had to cast away these old teachings and create his own understanding of Christianity. He joins Tom and the Joad family on their journey west, and becomes a role model for Tom, and, perhaps, a Christ-like figure for the rest of his companions. Throughout the novel, he touts new lessons of altruism and collectiveness. Also, he tends to be a martyr for Tom by turning himself in after an altercation with a deputy causing himself to be jailed. Although he was dismissed from his preaching position and, he still feels the need to help and comfort people. He says, “Maybe I can preach again. Folks out lonely on the road, folks with no lan ', no home to go to. They got to have some kind of home." (Jim Casy, 108), which he want to make people feel happy and feel at home even after they have cast their homes off in search of a better life.

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