The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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What are some examples of similes from The Grapes of Wrath.

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Throughout his novel, John Steinbeck makes use of various methods of narration.  One of these is with the intercalary chapters which often inform of the conditions in the historical context of the novel. At times, however, they are metaphoric in nature, comparing isolated situations to the human condition.  Chapter Three is such a chapter;in it, Steinbeck writes of a turtle who persistently attempts to cross the road. Although he is repulsed in his efforts to traverse this road by willpower, he persists, and is nearly run over. Nevertheless, the turtle, having been spun around and landed upon its back, manages to turn over and finish his crossing of the highway. Of course, the turtle is symbolic of the Joad family that will persevere despite the impediments to their journey. Moreover, in the subsequent Chapter Four, Steinbeck uses the simile of the turtle to the former preacher Jim Casy, who likens himself to the turtle. The turtle struggles along with a head of wild oats whose stem is wrapped around its legs as it crosses a highway and is struck by a truck, spinning on the pavement.  At last, it is able to cross, but loses the oats, dragging dirt over them as though he intends to plant them.  In Chapter Four, Tom Joad, having been released from prison, walks along the same dusty road and picks up the turtle, puts it in his pocket and walks through the dust with his "yellow shoes" that are suggestive of the turtle's "yellow toes." Then, after Tom meets Jim Casy, who is wandering, Casy compares himself to the turtle that Tom says he picked up in order to give it to his kid brother:

"Nobody can't keep a turtle though.  They work at it and work at it, and at last one day they get out and away they go--off...

(The entire section contains 619 words.)

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