The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck was a novel about people that learn that they can achieve more together than they can alone. This book did meet the criteria of Aristotle's 'Poetics'. There were many memorable characters, memorable scenes, a significant theme, and the use of language was very important. The memorable characters were Pa, Ma, Granpa, Granma, Casy, Tom, Al, Noah, Uncle John, the pregnant Rose of Sharon, Connie, Ruthie, and Winfield. The story starts out when Tom gets out of prison and goes back to his home in Salisaw, Oklahoma. On the way he meets up with Casy, the old preacher from Salisaw.
They both decide to go to see Tom's family together, only when they arrive at his father's farm, no one is there. Everyone in the area had moved because of a dust storm that had ruined all of the land. They find that the family is at his uncle's home so the two decide to make the trip there the next day. When they arrive, the entire family is getting ready to make a trip to California to find work and Tom and Casy join them, breaking Tom's parole. Along the way, many terrible things happen.
First, Granpa dies, putting Granma and all of the others in a state of depression. The family drives day and night stopping every so often to eat and sleep. Then, the time comes when they have to cross the desert to get into California. The oldest brother, Noah, decides to stay along the river because, he feels like he is a burden on the family and he can not go on. At the same time, Granma is becoming very ill and on the trip across the desert, she also passes away.
When they cross the desert and have reached California, they stop at a camp. There, Connie, feeling that he could not provide for Rose of Sharon or his unborn child, went off on his own. Casy, the preacher, takes the blame for Tom knocking a policeman out. He felt that he owed it to him because he was not a member of the family and Tom had broken his probation and he would have to go back to prison if he were caught.
Later in the book, Tom meets up with Casy again, who is striking against his employer who Tom now works for. Some men came for the strikers and end up killing Casy. Tom kills the man that killed Casy and then he has to hide. He hides in a culvert near the farm that the family works for. They find work picking cotton until there is a great flood. A starving, unhealthy Rose of Sharon then gives birth to a stillborn.
Then, the area gets so flooded that they can no longer live there and are forced to leave. When the Joad's are on their way to dry land, Al refuses to go along because he has met the girl that he wants to marry. Now all that is left is Ma, Pa, Uncle John, Rose of Sharon, Ruthie, and Winfield. At this point, the family has lost almost half of it's beginning members, yet still they have managed to never give up their dreams of settling down with a good job and a nice ho Perhaps the most memorable of the scenes was at the end of the story when Rose of Sharon, sick, weak, and just recently having lost her baby, saves a starving man's life by feeding him her breast milk. This was the most memorable scene because it shows how compassionate she is even after coming through a great tragedy.
Another scene that was very significant was when the family was staying at Weed patch, the government camp. At this camp there were no police, it was run by the people that lived in it. In this particular scene, there is a dance on a Saturday night and the local police try and stage a fight so that they can eliminate the camp. All of the men, including Tom, keep the fight from happening by working together and stopping the riot before it started. The use of language is also very important because it shows where they come from. With the dialect used, you can see that they are not well educated or in high social standing.
If this language was not used, it would have made the story unrealistic. The theme of the story was best put by Tom when he was reciting some scripture he had heard from Casy:' Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will life' up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.'.