The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Throughout the book Grapes of Wrath, what are the strongest and most specific examples of the "strength of family"?

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The Grapes of Wrath is a novel written by American John Steinbeck, which was published in 1939. The narrative focuses on the Joads, a poor family of farmers who are forced to abandon their home in Oklahoma to head west to California due to hardships caused by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

Within the narrative, the idea of family quickly becomes twofold, relating both to the Joad family but also to the larger collective of migrant workers forced from their homes due to the Dust Bowl. Without their homeland and without houses to physically define specific boundaries, the reader becomes aware of the idea that families are not connected by blood or proximity. Instead, families are defined by true commitment through loyalty to each other.

When Tom Joad was imprisoned, he thinks about his family and their relationship to give him strength to survive his sentence. Tom’s sense of family is revisited at the end of the novel when he understands that “'his' people are all people.”


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