Migrant Worker and Free Cliff Notes Essay

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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath is an eye-opening novel which deals with the struggle for survival of a migrant family of farmers in the western United States. The book opens with a narrative chapter describing Oklahoma, and the overall setting. It sets the mood of an area which has been ravished by harsh weather. "The sun flared down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet. The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth became pale, pink in the red country, and white in the gray country." (Steinbeck pg.3)

The idea was made clear, quite early, that the farming plains of Oklahoma were a cruel and difficult place for a family to make a successful living.

Once the family reaches California, their hopes and dreams are basically shattered. Although briefly employed for descent pay, wadges are slashed, and the hard times become even worse. With lack of money, possessions, and an adequate food supply, the family finally hits rock bottom when torrential rains flood their makeshift boxcar home, destroying their truck, and once again sending them on the run.

There are many characters who played a vital role in the development of the Grapes of Wrath. Each and every character has something to add to the book as a whole.

For example, chapter 3 expresses the struggle of a turtle trying to get across the highway. An ignorant reader might take the chapter literally, missing the underlying message that Steinbeck is trying to reveal. As the turtle attempts to cross the road, he is twice nearly crushed by passing motorists, and is flung off the road by a motorist who tried unsuccessfully to purposefully squash the turtle in it's tracks. The turtle, in actuality, completes a micro/macrocosm constructed by Steinbeck. The turtle struggles