In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, consider Tom and Casey and explain how they find hope in their world of woe.  

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Grapes of Wrath, both Tom and Casey see a bigger picture.  The rest of the characters who travel with them, meet them, or work beside them are all worrying--and rightly so--about how to feed their families or buy their next tank of gas.  They're consumed with the simple--or in this case, not so simple--task of survival.  The farming organizations all know that, and they take advantage of that fact by lowering what they're paying and raising the prices on what they're selling at the local store.  They understand that the outrage and the anger--and eventually the desire to band together to change what's happening--must take a back seat to survival.

Tom and Casey, perhaps because they're both single and care less strictly about survival, are able to see beyond the here and now.  They're visionaries who try to create a world of cooperation and unity and solidarity in the face of injustice in order to effect change.  Casey doesn't see his vision come to pass, for he is killed trying to make it happen.  We have some hope for Tom's success, when he delivers his famous "I'll be there" speech just before leaving his family forever. 

Both these men understood that life could and would be better, if only the workers could unite and demand more just and humane treatment. 

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The Grapes of Wrath

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