Unity Is Strength(Grapes Of Wrath) Essay, Research Paper
John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wraith is “the epic story of the Joad family’s migration from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to the Promised Land of California.” The novel has many twists and turns that end up in themes. “Us people got to stick together to get by these hard times ” is a quote by Dorothea Lange, from the novel The Bitter Years, which is a photographic essay about the Depression. This quote happens to be one of the major themes on the novel The Grapes of Wraith. To survive through the hard times of Depression, one has to become two. The unity in this novel becomes a major theme throughout the books. “Unity is Strength” for these people.
The example of this theme keeps coming up in the novel throughout the story. When Joad’s family are driving down the road towards California, they encounter many people, who have nothing to give but they help each other out during the need of the others. Let’s take Wilson’s for example. They are just couple travelling down the road who doesn’t even have enough money to get to California. When the Wilson’s meet them, they let Grandpa Goad sleep on their tent, when he is sick, to show their hospitality towards the Joad’s. “We are proud to help. I ain’t felt so-safe in a long time. People needs-to help.” They travel towards California together but on the way Sairy Wilson gets sick so the Wilson’s have to stay behind. “But as the Joads are departing Pa hands Wilson the little money he has and some food. In the highway Mae, a waitress, in a fast-food place shows her kindness by giving some people, who are poor, some candies in her expense. She is not even related to them but, she can’t just stand around while people go hungry.
After getting to California, they learn about “Hooverville” and also about the unfair working conditions and they meet, first-hand, starving children and people who have been there for a long time and can’t get work. Casy who is a preacher in the novel changes a lot during his travel to California. He had been thinking a lot about repaying the Joad’s for their hospitality. When Tom gets in trouble with the Deputy, the opportunity presents itself, and Casy takes the blame and is taken to Jail. Even Casy who has nothing to give helps out others in time of need. Later on the novel, we learn the Casy becomes the leader of the strike movement. In a sense he left a smaller family in order to help the big family or community. To unite together and become a larger family as a community to achieve a larger goal is what Mrs. Lange was talking about in her essay.
“A human being has a right to stand like a tree got a right to stand ” is another important quote from Mrs. Lange’s book. This is also one of the themes of the epic story. In California, the cops and deputy won’t let people stay in the same place. They are afraid that the people might unite and rebel against the ways of Californian people. They are afraid of the hard looking people. In order to keep the people under control the cops keep the people moving from one place to another day after day. As we get on with the novel, the Hoovevilles are burnt down so people can’t stay there for long. Arrest people or in another word “Okies”, if they raise their voice against the cops. A person can’t even stand in a place for a long time.
The Joad’s have to move from Hooverville, because it is destroyed and burnt and they have to find a place to live. Fortunately their luck takes them to the government camp, which is free of cops, have a nice place to live. But cops outside the government camp are always trying to close the camp, thinking people will unite and rebel against them. In a rather simple word they are terrified of these people. Here people have right to what they want and where they stand. They are not forced to do anything against their will. Here everybody is equal to each other.
The two quotations from the essay The bitter years is an important idea in the novel The Grapes of Wraith. The unity of different families as a community to achieve a better or a higher goal is the solution to the problem of the depression. And having a right as a people, makes them equal to the Californians (no offense intended). So the novel and an essay have the same meaning in a bigger sense. People got to stick together like quotes say, “two is better then one”. So in general these quotations show the true idea behind the book.