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Discuss how Steinbeck depicts the personal struggles of the migrant worker in The...

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eightcount | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2012 at 3:00 AM via web

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Discuss how Steinbeck depicts the personal struggles of the migrant worker in The Grapes of Wrath.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 4, 2012 at 8:13 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the strongest personal struggles that Steinbeck shows is how the migrant worker thinks of themselves as isolated and alone. Steinbeck shows this as the Status Quo for the migrant worker, the state of being that surrounds the migrant worker.  Steinbeck shows this personal struggle as how difficult it is to be alone in a dire circumstance.  Steinbeck displays how there can be social solidarity in the midst of this personal struggle. It is through this depiction where the theme of hope is most evident in the narrative.  Steinbeck shows how much of struggle there is when the migrant worker has to battle through external isolation and a sense of internal aloneness to embrace the idea of a collective identity that can provide strength during the times of personal struggles. I think that this becomes one of the critical elements in Steinbeck's depiction.  The migrant worker, used to being part of the dispossessed and discarded, is given a voice through the personal struggles that result in the formation of social solidarity and hope that what is can be transformed into what can be.

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