Movie The Grapes Of Wrath

Movie: The Grapes Of Wrath – The People And The Depression Essay, Research Paper

Movie: The Grapes Of Wrath – The people and the Depression

In the movie The grapes of Wrath, the Joads undergo the hit of the

depression, they have to leave their farm. They go to California for jobs, but

find there are few jobs, and it pays little, or at least less then what they

were told. The government tried to start programs to house and employ people

like the Joads. Since the people who already lived in the cities in which these

developments were put didn’t want them there anyway, they tried to start a riot

and have the police Arrest them. Although in the movie the plan was foiled, it

could have worked in many other places, or the towns folk could have just

created a lynch mob, and eventually the people living in the development would


I believe that the economic situation of the country has a great effect

on the fall, or succession of people like the Joads, but I don’t believe

government programs will effect them at all. For example, the great depression

was a major economical event, and it greatly effected more then just people like

the Joads, but programs like the public works administration which employed

people for government construction projects. Another program, the Works

Progress Administration, later called the Works Projects Administration was

created to develop relief programs, and to keep a person’s skills. From 1935-

1943, it employed 8 million people, and spent 11 billion dollars. But in 1939,

there were still 9.5 million still unemployed. Another program was the Civilian

Conservation Corps. Unemployed, unmarried young men were enlisted to work on

conservation and resource-development projects such as soil conservation, flood

control, and protection of forests and wildlife. These men were provided with

food, lodging, and other necessities, and were given a small monthly salary.

Another program was the CWA, the civil works administration. It employed more

then 4 million workers to build and repair roads, and teach in schools, were

just a couple of the jobs.

Some of these programs would work temporarily, but eventually there

would be no more work to do, or the government would run out of funds. All

these programs were hated by some, and loved by others, and some just didn’t

care. The business men that were lucky enough not to lose everything, and the

other employees working in the cities who still had jobs during the depression

didn’t like these new programs. In the movie, The Grapes Of Wrath, The towns

people didn’t like the government funded version of a “Hooverville”. The

townspeople, along with the police tired to start a fight during a dance, so the

police could come in, arrest some of the people living there, and say that this

new development wasn’t safe for the town, and it would have to be rid of.

Fortunately for them they were able to discover there little plan, and spoiled

the plan. But this showed how much the people in the towns hated these new

developments like the Hoovervilles. Also, I can’t recall what town it was in,

but when the Joades approached one town border, the men there said there was no

work, and that they would have to turn around, I believe they even had the

police there. This showed how much the people already living in these towns and

cities fear the coming farmers and others that had lost their jobs, for the

townspeople wanted to keep their jobs. I think it would have been smarter for

the government to buy the farms that people like the Joads were being kicked off,

that way they could still work there, and because they only got paid in food and

shelter, the extra food that they made that used to go to their employer would

go to the government which could either be sold for less, or given out in

rations to the poor, and homeless.

I believe that Roosevelt had too much power, he was making too many

programs that didn’t work. He was throwing money here, and money there to

programs designed to employ people, yet there were still millions of people

still employed. I believe if he had less power, his plans would have been

looked over more carefully, and the programs could have been substantially


I believe that the programs created by the government had little affect,

and that the money could have been spent more wisely, and better programs could

have been created, but I do think that the economy has a major impact on the

fall, or survival of a family, like the Joads.



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