Grapes of Wrath Response
In the Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, the American Dream is the inspiration for many of the families that had to leave because of the Dust Bowl. Everybody in Oklahoma lost their homes so they all left for California because they heard they could get a better life out there. The American Dream is the inspiration to find a better life and Rosasharn, Ma, and Als Dreams were explored. One economic ideal was how important a job was, and some social ideals were staying together as a family and having a roof over their head.
The American Dream is the inspiration to pursue a better life for yourself. It was the driving force that kept the families going on to California. In Grapes of Wrath, there were some characters whose American Dreams were explored. Rosasharns American Dream was to completely change her lifestyle and to live in a town with Connie. Well, we talked all about it, me an Connie. Ma, we wanna live in a town.(Steinbeck 224). Mas American Dream was for her family and herself to finally settle down in California and not have to move around every week. As an example, when they were in the government camp for a while, she was happy because they didnt have to worry about the police and had food and shelter. Als American Dream was to get married and work in a garage. He loved to work with cars and was in charge of the Joad truck on the way to California. To pursue his dream to marry, he also went to go looking for girls every time they settled down.
The importance of a job was one economic ideal that the family held dear. When they were in California, jobs werent available everywhere and the Joads struggled to survive on what little money they had. Jobs were so scarce that the actual search was almost a job itself and people felt lucky when they found one. For example, when the Joads arrived at the government camp, Tom was walking around and came across some people going to work and they had an opening for Tom. Lookie, he said. Were layin some pipe. F you want to walk over with us, maybe we could get you on.(Steinbeck 397).
Two of the familys social ideals were staying together as a family and having a house or shelter. Ma was the one person who really kept the family from falling apart. Many times one of the family members would think they were causing trouble and want to leave, but Ma would convince them to stay. Uncle Tom often wanted to leave because he thought he brought bad luck to the family. Every time he threatened Ma and Pa never let him leave because they wanted the family to survive together. Tom also wanted to leave once because he killed a police officer and didnt want his family to get in trouble. Thinks all the trouble is aimed right smack at her. If Im gonna get her upset like that I oughta go long.(Steinbeck 539). Having a place to call home was also important to the family. They learned to not take a roof over their head for granted because they often had to sleep in a tent. Because they had to move around a lot it was hard to find a good home with a roof to keep the cold or heat out. At the end of the book, they finally got lucky with a house and a boxcar to stay in.
The Joad family was one of the many families who went to California because of the Dust Bowl and the American Dream. The American Dream is the motivation to get a better life for you and your family. Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath illustrates this motivation through his characters. Rosasharn, Ma, and Als Dreams were explored during their journey, and the familys main economic and social ideals were the highlighted in the book, such as the importance of a job, having the family staying together, and not taking a roof over their head for granted.
Steinbeck, John. Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Group, 1989. Print