Essay on The Turtle By John Steinbeck

1071 Words Jul 19th, 2016 5 Pages
The turtle is one of the very first symbols presented to the reader in the book. Steinbeck describes the turtles hardships to crossing the highway, ranging from the highway itself, to the drivers on it. After being knocked off the highway, the turtle is flipped over onto its shell, but eventually recovers and attempts to cross the highway again. The turtle in this case is symbolizing the tenant farmers and their journey West. There are many hardships that the turtle faces, ranging from small annoyances such as the burrs and red ant, to major setbacks like the truck driver. Similarly, the farmers experience many struggles on their journey West. These include risks of starvation, need of shelter, and other hostile people. Both the turtle and the farmers must work hard to reach their destination, and will both have others attempting to keep them from reaching that goal. The truck driver that goes out of his way to hit the turtle is the same as the townspeople that try their best to make life hard for the Okies. In contrast, the sedan driver symbolizes humanity, and how not every human is hostile. There are many humans that try to help the Joads and other Okies, such as the government camp. The turtle also exhibits how good things can come from bad situations. Once the turtle is launched off the highway by the truck driver, it is flipped over and struggles to get up. In the process of this, the turtle accidently plants some oat seeds. If the turtle didn’t struggle, these seeds…

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