The Grapes of Wrath Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 63 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Grapes of Wrath.
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The Joads experience many hardships, deprivations, and deaths, and at the end of the novel are barely surviving. Nevertheless, the mood of the novel is optimistic. This positive feeling is derived from the growth of the Joad family as they begin to realize a larger group consciousness at the end of the novel. The development of this theme can be seen particularly in Ma Joad, from her focus on keeping the family together to her recognition of the necessity of identifying with the group. "Use' ta be the fambly was fust. It ain't so now. It's anybody. Worse off we get, the more we got to do," Ma says in the final chapter.

Hope comes from the journey that educates and enlightens some of the Joads, including Ma, Tom, Pa, John, Rose of Sharon, and also Jim Casy. On the surface, the family's long journey is an attempt...

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This section contains 766 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Grapes of Wrath Study Guide
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The Grapes of Wrath from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.