However, Steinbeck as usual was eclectic in his use of symbols, and a great deal of the novel is given to either pagan and universal archetypes, or to highly original meanings unique to the author's own vision and experience. While acknowledging the Judeo-Christian content, these other symbols are just as important, and an exploration into their use in Steinbeck's work, reveal their real significance Steinbeck's novel, though it is surprisingly lacking in surface-level symbolism, was "conceived [on] simultaneous levels of existence, ranging from socio-economic determinism to transcendent spirituality" DeMott, xiii. Grapes Wrath essays Steinbeck Essays] Research Papers Symbolism in the Grapes of Wrath Essay - During the depression of the 's, the combined evils of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl drought left many southern farming families landless and weak.
One of the main symbols comes very early in the story, the turtle. As the turtle is walking across an old dirt road, a car begins to come near where the turtle is crossing.
The car swerves in order to miss the slow, helpless turtle. The turtle ducks into its shell for safety. When it realizes that it is safe, it peaks his head out of its protective shell and continues its trek across the road.
A few minutes later a truck comes down the road the other way. The driver swerves intentionally to hit the defenseless animal. The trucker hits the side of the turtles shell, quickly flipping it over.
The turtle struggles to get itself back on its underside, thrashing its arms and legs with all of its might. Finally, it is able to turn itself over. After this near catastrophe, the turtle sits in the safety of its shell again, not knowing if it was going to make it across to the other side of the road.
It begins walking again. Using the symbol of the turtle, Steinbeck seems to be suggesting that outside factors affect the fate of the turtle more than the turtle himself.
This is closely related to human fate. We, too, are at the mercy of outside factors such as our surroundings. Most of the other symbolism in the novel is biblical, the main source being the book of Exodus in the Old Testament.
They then begin a long journey to California because it is said that California is a great place to find work. Along the way, they encounter many problems such as their car breaking down and the grandparents dying.
This is reminiscent of the book of Exodus when the children of Israel leave Egypt, when they have been slaves, to get to the Promised Land. On their journey, there are numerous problems and obstacles that they have to get through to achieve their goal.
One of the most important symbols in the novel comes from the New Testament. It involves Jim Casey, the former preacher, symbolically representing Jesus Christ in that he gives his life for the cause of helping others.
Therefore, in a way, Tom Joad represents one of the Disciples. They help to develop the personality of the characters and add a moral meaning to the narrative. All of these symbols are related to the plot as well as to the meaning of the novel. The result is a deeply moving story of human beings engaged in a struggle for a better life.
Works Cited Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Penguin Group, Related posts:The Grapes of Wrath- Symbolism Essay.
Symbolism Symbols are often used to represent bigger ideas and concepts in a novel. In The Grapes of Wrath, there are many symbols to represent the lives of not only the Jode family but the migrants as a whole. Free Essay: The Use of Symbolism in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that in my opinion illustrates the.
May 17, · Symbolism of the Turtle in Chapter 3 of The Grapes of Wrath May 17, Posted by essay-writer in Free essays I would like to talk in this paper about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and pay specific attention on symbolism of the turtle in its chapter 3.
Parallels Between The Grapes of Wrath and the Life of John Steinbeck Essay - John Steinbeck was born on February 27, in Salinas, California. Jan 25, · Please join StudyMode to read the full document. The Grapes of Wrath: Symbolism Essay The Grapes of Wrath: Symbolism February 28, The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America during the 's live under.
The Grapes Of Wrath: Symbolism February 28, The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America during the 's live under.