In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, thousands of people have have lost their jobs, their homes and their land, and have been forced to pack up and move across the country, looking for work and a new home where they can begin again.
Ma Joad, the woman who works extremely hard to keep her family and her extended family healthy, fed and together, knows how important it is to maintain a sense of unity.
There are several reasons for this. Being united is safer: the group is less likely to be harassed/robbed if they stick together. Working together also increases the chances that the group will survive in terms of finding work and/or food. Unity is extremely important to provide a sense of belonging that fights the insidious feelings of alienation brought on by this terrible time in U.S. history.
In terms of unity, one of the major themes is man (or the individual) vs society. For instance, when the men try to get work, they are often competing with others, and "fighting" even those who are...
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