The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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How does each member of the Joad family feel about going to California and leaving home in The Grapes of Wrath?

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John Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize-winning Great Depression novel, The Grapes of Wrath, traces the struggles of the extended Joad family from Oklahoma on their way to California in the 1930s. The Joads lost their land to the Dust Bowl and like many other tenant farmers could no longer grow crops due to the extra-long drought period. Steinbeck uses the personal struggles of the characters in this novel to depict the general conditions, social injustices, and isolation that affected the Southwest region of the United States in that era.

The Joad family consists of many biological members, plus a few...

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The Joad family was like the many poor farmers of the drought regions during the depression.  Each family member had watched their crops dry up and die, the land turn to sand and dust, and had their lives abruptly changed.  For the Joads the need to move was as necessary as it had been for the other farmers.  They watched as their neighbors had packed up and moved away.  The region they had lived in had changed and become an un-inhabitable environment.

For the most part, despite the tragedy of their lives, the family members were ready to move on.  They had nothing left for them at their home.  They purchased their vehicle with the excitement and hopes of having a new life lay before them.  Ma Joad was the guidance that projected hope into her family.  They had no idea that their exodus and entrance into California would be met with negativity.

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