Grapes Of Wrath Intercalary Chapters Essay About Myself

The Grapes of Wrath - Fear, Hostility, and Exploitation in Chapter 21

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Fear, Hostility, and Exploitation in Chapter 21 of The Grapes of Wrath


Steinbeck's intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath have nothing to do with the Joads or other characters of the novel, but help describe the story in different terms. They are similar to poems, offering different viewpoints of the migration, and clarifying parts of the story that the reader might not understand. An excellent example of this use can be seen in chapter 21, where an examination of the attitudes of migrant Okies and the residents of California reveals the changing nature of land ownership among the changing population of California and gives greater meaning to the fierce hostility that the Joads meet in California.


The first…show more content…

They suffer the anguish of losing their farms and their homes, of being forced to move endlessly and painfully in search of work on someone else's land. The anguish caused by sudden change in land ownership is a major aspect of the novel.


The next section of chapter 21 offers an explanation of the hostility that the migrants meet upon arrival in California. Steinbeck describes:


"Men of property were terrified for their property. Men who had never been hungry saw the eyes of the hungry. Men who had never wanted anything very much saw the flare of want in the eyes of the migrants. And the men of the towns and of the soft suburban country gathered to defend themselves; and they reassured themselves that they were good and the invaders bad, as a man must do before he fights."


The mild people of California find in the Okies what they have yet to experience - fear and desperation. Sensing the extent to which the migrants are willing to work, the locals begin to fear for their own jobs, and most importantly, for their own property. In fearful defense, they attack the Okies as marauders who mean to destroy both populations through their desperation. This fear transforms into hostility, which reveals itself in the story through the deputies and managers who abuse and assault the Joads, as well as other migrant families in the workers'

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Free Grapes of Wrath Essays: The Joad's Journey

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The Joad's Journey in The Grapes of Wrath 

Throughout history man has made many journeys, both far and wide. Moses’ great march through the Red Sea and Columbus's traversing the Atlantic are examples of only a couple of men’s great voyages. Even today, great journeys are being made. Terry Fox's run across Canada while fighting cancer is one of these such journeys. In every one of these instances people have had to rise above themselves and overcome immense odds, similar to a salmon swimming upstream to full fill it's life line. Intense drive and extreme fortitude are qualities they needed to posses during their travels.

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck illustrates the Joad’s endurance by his use of extended metaphors in intercalary chapters. Steinbeck uses intercalary chapters to provide background for the various themes in the novel. He effectively foreshadows upcoming events by telling of the general state of the local population in the intercalary chapters. He then narrows it down to how it effects the main characters of the novel, which are the Joads. Setting the tone of the novel in the reader’s mind is another function of Steinbeck's intercalary chapters.

In chapter three, Steinbeck immaculately describes the long, tedious journey of a land turtle across a desolate highway. From the onset of his journey, the turtle encounters many setbacks. Along the way ants, hills, and oak seeds hinder him under his shell. The turtle’s determination to reach his destination is most apparent when a truck driven by a young man swerves to hit the turtle. The turtle's shell is clipped and he goes flying off the highway, but the turtle does not stop. He struggles back to his belly and keeps driving toward his goal, just as the Joads keep driving toward their goal.

Much like the turtle from chapter three, the Joads had to face many great hardships in their travels. The planes of Oklahoma, with their harsh summer weather, were the Joads desolated highways. The truck driver represented the Californians, who Buried food and killed livestock to keep the Joads and others like them away from their dream. And their ants and hills were sickness. Even through all of this, the Joads persevered. They were driven by two great motivating powers, poverty and hunger. Just as the turtle searched for food, the Joads were searching for paradise, "The Garden of Eden.

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The Joad’s journey is second to none in terms of adversity and length. The Joad’s incredible ability to overcome all odds and keep going is epitomized in intercalary chapter three. Steinbeck uses his rendition of facts, the "turtle" chapter, to parallel the Joad’s struggle to reach the promise land. Just as the turtle endured, so did the Joads. They never digressed from their strait and narrow path to California. 


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