Illustration of the back a man in a hat and overalls looking towards the farmland

The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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Student Question

How did characters in The Circuit and The Grapes of Wrath face and overcome obstacles?

Quick answer:

To get started on your essay, outline your basic ideas, including an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Make a list of common obstacles that the characters face in both The Grapes of Wrath and The Circuit in order to begin forming your thesis statement. These can include poverty, the challenges of life in a migrant family, and maintaining family loyalty during difficult times.

Expert Answers

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Writing an informative essay on The Grapes of Wrath and The Circuit would benefit from careful planning, brainstorming, and comparing/contrasting the two works. It helps to begin with an outline when writing an informative essay, particularly those that compare two works of literature. Your essay outline could be organized by paragraph.

The first paragraph should include a hook or opening, as well as your thesis sentence. Are there any details or scenes from either story that helped you understand the characters better as they faced obstacles and hardships? If one aspect resonated with you, referencing this detail can make a great hook to capture your reader's attention as well. Maybe it is the description of the setting in The Grapes of Wrath or the family's dynamic in The Circuit. You should choose a hook that is unique to you in order to grab your reader's attention.

Your thesis sentence is one of the most important aspects of your essay because it is the "heart" of your essay. When discussing two books, your thesis statement should apply to both works. In this case, you are asked to describe the obstacles these characters faced and how they overcame them. Are there any common obstacles or hardships from the two books?

Your assignment asks you to describe the hardships that characters in the two novels face, each in its own paragraph. Begin by making a list of those obstacles. Both works include characters who are migrant workers, harvesting crops as they follow the growing seasons. Many of the obstacles that these characters face are in direct response to that lifestyle. In The Circuit, Francisco describes his challenges from a child's perspective, while the protagonist of The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad, is an adult. But both have to face a life of poverty and uncertainty as they travel with their families.

Your conclusion paragraph should be a summary of your main points and restate your thesis sentence. You can imagine your introduction and conclusion paragraphs as tidy bookends holding the rest of your essay together. What is the one idea that you want your reader to take away from your essay? This should be included in your conclusion paragraph.

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