Grapes of wrath
Diacritical Journal Review
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In the book, Casy does not represent a full-
fledged, religious Christ figure for the Joads
and migrant workers, but he acts as a
Role of Casey... Christ figure in terms of morality and
spirituality. He carries a constant
composure about himself, and while he
doubts his role as a preacher now that he is
out of the church, he still is the grounding
and calming force for the commonly
worrisome Joads and other migrants. He
preaches a kind of holiness for the common
man, on earth rather than heaven. When
he says, “we wasn’t separate no more. We
was one thing. An’ that on thing was
holy”(105). He appeals to the Joads and
other migrants as a Christ figure because of
his simple definition of salvation and
writers’ journal #5
• Respond to one of the following quotes in terms
of its context in the story, and your personal
• “The hell with it! There ain’t no sin and there
ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do. It’s
all part of the same thing. And some of the
things folks do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but’s
that’s as far as any man got a right to say.” (30)
• “Well--nothin. Seems too nice kinda...I’m scared
of stuff so nice. I ain’t got faith. I’m scared
somepin ain’t so nice about it.” (97)
Grapes of Wrath part 1
• Consider the following questions. Turn in one
paper per pair and be prepared to share your
• Examine the structure of the novel. How
does Steinbeck organize the story? What is
• How does Steinbeck develop characters?
Consider Tom, Casy, and Ma.
• Consider the episode of the turtle (ch 3).
Analyze and support its purpose in the text.
• How is the West portrayed? What myths are
associated with the West?
Myth of the West
• Why did people go west?
• What associations do you have with the West?
• How have ideas/stereotypes of the West
• Do you feel you lead a typical western life?
• How have conservation issues impacted the
Myths of the west
• Land and freedom out West
• Plenty to go around
• Abundance of food and farm crops
• Land of opportunity; the answer to the troubles
of the Midwest
• Rough and tough living: think cowboys and
“Leader of the people”
• Please answer thoughtfully and include
examples from the text
• What does the grandfather represent?
• What does Jody represent?
• What does Jody learn from his grandfather?
• Why are there conflicts between the
• How does the story contain the myth of the
• How does the grandfather embody the term
Title of the novel
• After listening to “Battle Hymn of the Republic,
consider how the title fits the novel.
• Provide evidence that supports your idea.
• When finished, write down any questions you
have for our discussion of the novel
• Definition: A pattern from which copies can be
made; a universal theme that manifests itself
differently on an individual basis
• Primordial: We have these archetypal images
ingrained in our understanding even before we
• Universail: Archetypes can be found all over the
world and throughout history. The idea may
appear differently, but the idea is the same.
Archetypethe one who is always
• Hero: Courageous figure;
running in and saving the day
• Outcast: One who has been cut off from society
or has left on a voluntary basis. Sometimes this
character can be considered a Christ figure.
• Mother: Nurturer; provides comfort and
• Scapegoat: One who is blamed for everything,
regardless of whether he or she is at fault
• Star-crossed lovers: The young couple joined
by love but unexpectedly parted by fate
• Shrew: The nagging, bothersome wife always
battering her husband with verbal abuses
• Innocent: Either a child/youth or an innocent adult
who represents simplicity and naivete
• Underdog: Person in a conflict perceived as weak
or unable to succeed
• Double: Split personality of a character; can be
literal or figurative
• Enchantress/temptress: seductive character,
usually standing between hero and his task
• Villain or Evil character
• The task: a situation in which a character, or group of
characters, is driven to complete some duty of monstrous
• The quest: Here, the character(s) are searching for
something, whether consciously or unconsciously. Their
actions, thoughts, and feelings center around the goal for
completing this quest
• The loss of innocence: This is, as the name implies, a loss
of innocence through experience, violence, or any other
• The initiation: This is the process by which a character is
brought into another sphere of influence, ususally (in
literature) into adulthood
• Coming of Age
Writer’s distinguishes one of the
• Choose a quote that
following characters. Use the quote to provide a
brief analysis of that character in terms of a
• Right to Freedom, Liberty, and Pursuit of
• Land for all
• Success for all
• Land of plenty
• Land no good: dust bowl, over-farming
• Land owned by banks and companies, not by
• Little food, less money
• Few jobs, hard labor
• Very few people live the American Dream
Writers’ Journal #7
• How does the American Dream shift or adapt for
• Provide support for your ideas.
• In small groups, make a list of vital themes (at
• Choose one and provide an example of where
you see it in the text.
• How does Steinbeck stylistically develop this
theme (through characters, conflict, tone, the
Joad chapters or the intermediary chapters,
etc.)? Provide an example.
Summary vs. Commentary
• Summary: Casy is considered a Christ figure.
• Commentary: Casy’s role as a Christ figure
shows the need for individuals to think in terms
of the group. Casy chooses to put the Joad’s
safety before his own, and in doing so
demonstrates the challenges the migrants
faced. Casy’s sacrifice was not one with any
glory attached, but was instead a necessity
created by the troubling social circumstances of
the time. His sacrifice shows integrity, but it is
an integrity that is born out of harsh conditions
and not simply the good of his heart.
• Add commentary to the following statements to
make them arguable.
• Ma is the source of strength in the Joad
• Tom kills the man who murdered Casy.
• Rosasharon saves the man in the barn from