The Grapes of Wrath and Joad family Essays

Submitted By shirley-f
Words: 1859
Pages: 8

To Fight or Not to Fight Inequality has become a major issue that affects each and every one of us today. But, most do not take the time to understand the reasons and causes behind this problem. To some, inequality does not seem to make a difference because it does not affect the person at all. But, to others it does because it can affect one’s salary, self-esteem, class level, and how one lives his/her life. In Frank Galati’s adapted version of John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath”, inequality can be a problem, and can influence any person who is around. On Tuesday, April 15th at 7:00pm, I attended an amusing play written by Galati, which took place on campus reenacted by the students of SJSUs department of television, radio, film and theatre. Galati provided a couple of main focuses in his play, one was to incorporate musicals which he and Michael Smith personally created to enhance certain themes of the scenes he chose to emphasize. For example, when the repetitive musical was playing when the Joad family was on the truck driving towards California, it gave the audience a slight background of the time period the Joad’s were living in. In addition, Galati himself explained the main focus was to demonstrate Tom as the hero, and the difficulties he faced attempting to understand Jim Casy’s message (Childs). Casy was a preacher and played a semi-identical role to Jesus.
Galati included Casy’s death as an event that deeply stirred and altered Jim’s state of mind. After Casy’s death, he became Jim’s “revelation”. Therefore, his character played a major role in influencing Tom Joad’s purpose in life. Another main focus was to display the close bonding of family relationships no matter the difficulties and hard times each character must face. The Joad family does everything together as a family, and does not once single another family member out. For example, when the Joad family was packing and about to take off, Papa Joad did not want to leave. Eventually, they used force and carried Papa Joad onto the truck, but this demonstrates the Joad family wants to keep the family together.
The topic of the play was to allow the audience to understand the harsh, financially insecure, and difficult living conditions families has to suffer through. The Joad family was an example, because overtime they were losing Grandpa, Grandma, Casy, and Tom voluntarily leaves his family after taking revenge for Casy. The simplex story line of this play basically allows the audience to determine the main message of the play, that no matter what difficult conditions the Joad family faces, they stick together as a whole, and will continue to pursue their goal from the beginning. The goal is to find a successful job in wealthy California, support one another, and to live a much joyful life. There are a couple of themes in “The Grapes of Wrath”, a couple are: prejudice and discrimination, holism, gender roles, and industrialization.
In terms of the strengths of the play performed, the costume set was nearly identical towards the outfits one would wear during that time period. I found the creativity of generating an artificial layer of fog at night, and reusing the same fog as a cloud of dust in the morning to be very interesting. Also, it is amazing to watch the actors perform in such a lively and full of energetic way, especially after continuously performing the same shows throughout the same week. Another surprising prop I noticed was the actors used a rectangular box as the river. I was surprised when the actors fearlessly full on dived, dunked, and swam in the small box and created a strong unexpected splash towards the audience sitting in the front. I also enjoyed the Grandpa’s and Al’s sense of humor, which was not included in the book.
Looking upon the weaknesses of the play, it might be an improvement if actors spoke a bit louder so the ones sitting in the back could hear clearly. Another would be to create a slightly more interesting and more