What is a passage that best conveys the main conflict in Grapes? What do the truths of this passage reveal about the main conflict of this novel and its relevance to theme?
As an American classic in its depiction of the common man's struggle against oppression The Grapes of Wrath is, without doubt, John Steinbeck's masterpiece. While the narrative chronicles the individual struggles of the itinerant Joad family, the intercalary chapters of Steinbeck's work present social tableaux of the plight of the disenfranchised and other situations during the Great Depression.
Chapter Nine, for instance, presents the traumatic moments in the lives of those whose very essence is in the fields they have tilled as sharecroppers, and whose ancestors before them have tilled.
In the plank houses, the poor tenants sift through their belongings, selecting what they will take with them and what they will leave behind. They must sell their mule team and wagon, their plows, and all their other tools as there is no use for them where they are headed:
Maybe we can start again, in the new rich land....We'll start over.
But you can't start. Only a baby can start. You and me--why, we're all that's been. The anger of a moment, the thousand pictures, that's us. This land, this red land, is us; and the flood years and the dust years and the drought years are us. We can't start again. The bitterness we sold to the junk man--he got it all right, but we have it still. And when the owner men told us to go, that's us; and when the tractor hit the house, that's us until we're dead. To California or any place--every one a drum major leading a parade of hurts....And some day--the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it.
(The entire section contains 576 words.)
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