The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay

1383 Words Oct 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
When one thinks of turtles, an image of a protruding head dragging its lumbering body behind it often comes to mind. With their protective shells and stout legs, turtles slowly but purposefully plod along their path. Turtles are used in numerous works of literature as symbols of cunningness, creation, and tenacity, as in the famous Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, and in Native American folklore. In John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck creates his own imagery of the turtle. The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of displaced farming families trying to make better lives for themselves during the Great Depression. Steinbeck focuses on the fictional tale of the Joad family, who, like many others, are traveling to California in search of work. Throughout his novel, Steinbeck includes short stories that describe the setting and symbolize the plight of the people who survived the Great Depression. One such story is the narrative of a turtle trying to cross a highway. As the turtle cautiously proceeds, he is faced with life threatening challenges that he overcomes to the benefit of his society. As the turtle crosses the highway, he effectively symbolizes the Joad family and represents the greater community of migrant workers. The turtle symbolizes the Joad family as he crosses the highway. Steinbeck uses the narrative about the turtle to represent the perseverance of the Joads, especially Ma 's, as shown when Steinbeck narrates, “…the hill...reared up…

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