“Then it don’t matter. I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.”(Steinbeck). This passage has a connection to my personal life. When I was a child, my father would always listen to Bruce Springsteen around me. He loved this book, and would listen to “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. This passage was reworked in the song to be a verse, and this was always my favorite part while my dad sang it. This passage connects to my childhood, and brings back fond memories.
“They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat."
"The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it." (Steinbeck). In the story, the bank is an evil manmade monster, taking back land and forcing away the residents. They only wish to make money, and don’t care about the little people of the world. This relates to the situation today with the occupy Wall Street movement. The lower class of the world are tired of the way the big money makers treat them, and then decide to protest. The bank in the story, and the banks today both treat the lower classes the same way.
" And because they were lonely an perplexed, because they had all come from a place of sadness and worry and defeat and because they were all going to a new mysterious place they huddled together; they talked together; they shared their lives, their food, and the things they hoped for in the new country." (Steinbeck 264). In the story, the Joads leave behind their old hard life, in search of a better one out West. They make a long voyage to the land promised to them by flyers. This is an allusion to the Exodus of the Jews in the Bible. The Jews left the harsh treatment of Pharaoh, and went to the land promised to them by God. The Joads journey directly correlates with that of the Jews.
"He held the apple box against his chest. And then he leaned over and set the box in the stream and steadied it with his hand. He said fiercely, "Go down an' tell 'em. Go down in the street an' rot an' tell 'em that way....Maybe they'll know then." He guided the box gently out into the current and let it go" (Steinbeck 493). In this passage, Uncle John takes Rose of Sharon’s baby to be buried. He ends up floating the baby in a box down the river, delivering it, so to speak, from the evils the Joads were facing. This is an allusion to the story of Moses, who was floated down the Nile in a basket by his mother. This was to deliver him from the slavery that was going on in Egypt. Rose of Sharon’s baby and Moses have very similar stories, and Steinbeck alludes to this with the baby’s burial.
Language and Culture
“Behind the harrows, the long seeders—twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gears, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control”(Steinbeck). In this interesting sentence structure, Steinbeck compares the operation of a tractor’s motor, to sex. This paints a gruesome picture, depicting rape within the tractor’s motor. Rape is not a light subject, so this sentence really stands out from the dull writing, and gets you to visualize the tractor’s motor working in tune with all its parts.
“Im tar’d out…I’m tard’ a things happenin’. I wanta sleep. I wanta sleep”(Steinbeck). In the story, the Joad family is from the