Steinbeck wrote many wonderful books but a great classic

is one titled The Grapes of Wrath. This is a story of a

family called the Joads, and a tale of a courageous family who

sought security and family unity.

In my paper I will examine the different ways the Joads

tried to keep united whether just within their immediate

family or eventually with all the others who shared the same

struggles and sufferings.

Steinbeck's dialogue and description's of the dusty

roads, the men squatting in the dirt drawing pictures while

making major decisions, the way in which they traveled all

puts you right into the middle of the family. One becomes

aware and wants to be a part of there unity and their long for

security. Steinbeck's use of the characters dialect is

astoundingly excellent and unmistakenly realistic of the

Joad's culture. Without this dialogue, it would not be as

intense and vivid.

J. Homer Caskey, in "Letters to the Editor" says,
"Steinbeck's knowledge of the forces which hold
a family together and the forces which cause it
to disintegrate. He understands that family
councils are an important part of the lives of
the Joads."

The major theme is the struggle and survival of the Joad

family from the time they lost their home, to the unity they

felt and soon were a part of a whole community, one big

family, and one big soul. This theme is particularly exemplified

by Ma Joad, who played a major part.

The Joads encountered a constant struggle to keep the

family going and intact. When Ma knew that gramma Joad was

dying she told her that there was nothing she could do, that

the family needed to get across the desert that night. It was

not until they were across the desert that she let the family

know that Gramma Joad had died during the night.

Ma Joad was the strong but yet understanding one of the

family. She listened to pa and obeyed his wishes, until she

had to be strong and stand her ground. Ma was convinced and

had to be forceful with pa and show him that she was capable

of making decisions. After this confrontation with pa the

other family members began to see ma differently and looked to

her for the final approval.

John Steinbeck, in "The Grapes of Wrath" says,
"On'y way you gonna get me to go is whup me...
Ma Joad takes on Pa in order to keep the
family from going off too far."

Tom Joad represented the man of the family and provided

support through his strength. I believe that Tom Joad kept

the family in line. As they went on with their trails, the

fact that he had been in prison kept the whole family from

doing anything that might incriminate or send him back. They

held their tongues at times when they encountered prejudice

and degrading comments from people.

Tom's role in the story was that of one to look up to, and

even though he spent time in prison he still held on to the

big brother figure.

Gary at first seemed to be a loner, although once he was

made to be a part of the family, he began to look within

himself and to the meaning of life. He seemed to find a new

direction in life.

John Steinbeck, in "The Grapes of Wrath" says,
"I ain't gonna baptize. I'm gonna work i the
fiel's, in the green fiel's, an I'm gonna be
near to folks. I ain's gonna try to teach 'em
nothin, I'm gonna try to lear. Gonna learn why
the folks walks in the grass, gonna hear 'em
talk, gonna hear 'em sing. Gonna listen to kids
eatin mush. Gonna hear husban an wife a-poundin'
the mattress in the night. Gonna eat with 'em an
learn." Gonna lay in the grass, open an' honest
with anybody that'll have me. Gonna cuss an' swear
an' hear the peotry of folks talkin. All that's
holy, all that's what I didn understan. All them
things is the good things."

Rose of Sharon had her dreams and did nothing but wonder

about what her dreams would bring. She wanted Connie to study

at night and work at the ice store. She wanted the best for

her with her baby. She constantly dreamed of them in their

nice little house all alone as a family. Rose of Sharon only

thought of herself, her baby