Finding Hope in The Grapes of Wrath
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Finding Hope in The Grapes of Wrath
Having watched the movie "Grapes of Wrath", I have been given the opportunity to see the troubles that would have befell migrant workers during the Great Depression. Though the Joads were a fictitious family, I was able to identify with many signs of hope that they could hold onto. Some of these families who made the journey in real life carried on when all they had was hope. The three major signs of hope which I discovered were, overcoming adversity, finding jobs, and completing the journey.
The Joad family members were facing hardships from the beginning. Before the journey, Tom Joad had been in prison and that was a downer to everyone. In the scenes of overcoming this problem, Tom was released and his family was so excited and full of joy to see him. Before they could celebrate too much, they found themselves having to leave the land that most of them were born on, raised on and labored for. They decided that as shady as it was to be forced off their own land, the drought had shattered any hopes of prospering from it anyway. With the hope of a better life out in California and a flyer that said pickers needed, they set out for the proclaimed promised land.
The trip had proved to much for Grandpa Joad early on and he passed away. As depressing as that was for the remaining Joads, they pressed on. They knew they needed to make it to California to have a better life and that hope empowered them. Vehicle trouble, low food and not much support from people they passed was not enough to make them give up.
Once they made it across the desert and into California, they were surprised to see that they were among thousands of migrant families looking for jobs. They got into a scuff with the local authority in a Hooverville where they were encamped. The former preacher was arrested. Although it didn't go through, the scuff began with a job proposition. The Joads left that night and in the morning, they ran into an orchard where they could make fifty cents a basket picking peaches.
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Finding Hope Grapes Of Wrath Overcoming Adversity Tom Joad Promised Land Migrant Workers
This brought hope to the Joads because it was a start. They even met back up with the old preacher. Trouble came knocking before too long there also and it was at the expense of the preacher's life.
They packed up and headed out in hopes of finding another job. It is a good sign of hope that the Joads haven't been in California very long and they already have had two job opportunities. The Joads get word of a government run sight where they could stay and work. The facilities there were luxurious to an extent as well. The Joads had found their place. When you have next to nothing you find hope in the little things.
My final object of hope is the plane fact that they made it to California. They left their homes in a beat up overweighed truck, ten people, barely enough food, a couple hundred dollars, and 2,000 miles ahead of them. They lost three people getting there, they faced break downs and run ins with the authorities, and they made it. They did it all with the power of hope.
In conclusion, the Joads were a close knit family who believed they could start anew in California. They hoped that a better life awaited them to the west. With hope in their hearts they completed the journey. It can be said that in overcoming their trials, finding jobs and crossing that California border all their hopes were fulfilled.
Essential Passage 1: Chapter 4
The preacher nodded his head slowly. “Every kid got a turtle some time or other. Nobody can’t keep a turtle though. They work at it and work at it, and at last one day they get out and away they go—off somewhere. It’s like me. I wouldn’ take the good ol’ gospel that was just layin’ there to my hand. I got to be pickin’ at it an’ workin’ at it until I got it all tore down. Here I got the sperit sometimes an’ nothin’ to preach about. I got the call to lead the people, an’ no place to lead ‘em.”
“Lead ‘em around and around,” said Joad. “Sling ‘em in the irrigation ditch. Tell ‘em they’ll burn in hell if they don’t think like you. What the hell you want to lead ‘em someplace for? Jus’ lead ‘em.” The straight trunk shade had stretched out along the ground. Joad moved gratefully into it and squatted on his hams and made a new smooth place on which to draw his thoughts with a stick.
While going home after serving time in prison, Tom Joad encounters Casy, the preacher that had ministered to the community during Tom’s youth. The two keep each other company and catch up on the passage of time. Tom shares his liquor with Casy, and the men talk about Casy’s preaching days. Although Casy has decided to give up preaching, that has not stopped him from sermonizing. His mind still works out the great truths of the universe, but he has no way to utilize what he has learned. He feels he still has some kind of spiritual call, but he has no place to lead his followers since he has given up his commitment to organized religion in the form of traditional Christianity. Tom, however, encourages him to just lead the people, which is what they really want after all. They want to be pointed in the direction of hope.
Essential Passage 2: Chapter 20
Ma asked timidly, “Where we goin’, Tom?”
“Goin’ south,” he said. “We couldn’ let them bastards push us aroun’. We couldn’. Try to get aroun’ the town ‘thout goin’ through it.”
“Yeah, but where we goin’?” Pa spoke for the first time. “That what I want ta know.”
“Gonna look for that gov’ment camp,” Tom said. “A fella said they don’ let no deputies in there. Ma—I got to get away from ‘em. I’m scairt I’ll kill one.”
“Easy, Tom.” Ma soothed him. “Easy, Tommy. You done good once. You can do it again.”
“Yeah, an’ after a while I won’t have no decency lef’.”
“Easy,” she said. “You got to have patience. Why, Tom—us people will go on livin’ when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we’re the people that live. They ain’t gonna wipe us out. Why, we’re the people—we go on.”
“We take a beatin’ all the time.”
“I know.” Ma chuckled. “May that makes us tough. Rich fellas come up an’ they die, an’ their kids ain’t no good, an’ they die out. But, Tom, we keep a-comin’. Don’ you fret none, Tom. A different time’s comin’."
The Joad family has arrived in California, but Granma dies before she can see the beauty, and they are forced to leave her to be buried in a pauper’s grave. Finally finding a camp for migrants, the Joads take possession of one of the tents and settle in. However, it is clear that the migrants are not welcomed by the local people, and Tom fears for his safety if confronted by a deputy. His anger is such against authority that he is afraid that he will kill a policeman. Ma pleads with him to take it easy. She points out that he had been a good man once, and he can be again. She urges him to have patience, because those in authority cannot wipe them out. She says that they are “the people,” and they will survive no matter what. The constant battle only serves to strengthen them. The...
(The entire section is 1666 words.)