Essay about The Value of Unity in Spirit

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John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is a classic American novel based on the Dust Bowl migration that took place in the 1930’s. Serving as an example of all migrant families in the 30’s, his book follows a family—the Joads—through their treacherous journey from Oklahoma to California. It depicts the struggles they face trying to survive in a land where oranges were supposed to be plentiful for the taking. However, The Grapes of Wrath is much more than a restatement of American history. It is a penetratingly tragic reality that awakens the human heart. Through foreshadowing and the harsh realities of California, Steinbeck develops Tom Joad as a tragic hero illustrating the value of unity in spirit; the holiness that is found within men …show more content…
This provides foreshadowing for the unintentional dangers that the Joads will face. Quickly following the sedan, a truck came down the road, “the driver spotted the turtle and swerved to hit it.” Barely missing the turtle represents the intentional threats fated for the Joads. Yet, just like the turtle the Joads will learn to continue on. When Tom finds the turtle he does not know the struggles through which it endured or the perseverance of this turtle. He merely proposes to use it as a gift for his younger siblings, thus taking the turtle in the opposite direction of its desired destination. Upon reaching his home, Tom and Jim Casy—whom he meets along his way—learn of his family’s circumstances from an old neighbor and how his family has already started their journey to California. Knowing that he cannot take the turtle with him Tom lets it go and watches it head quickly back in the direction it was going prior to their encounter. Curiously Tom states to Casy “I seen turtles all my life. They’re always going somewhere,’ unaware of his similar fate (Steinbeck 44). Although the turtle is only mentioned in one chapter of the book, it signifies the relentless dangers that Tom Joad and his family will meet. Realities such as those of California, and the reality that even with hard work people can pluck you up and take you away from your goals. The land turtle also suggests the need for companionship, someone

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