Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, college student will determine themes and symbols indigenous the novel, and support their selections with details from the text.

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Themes come Look For and also Discuss


Pursuit the the American Dream In the 1930s, when countless families just a brief time before had assumed they had achieved the Dream by purchase land and building homes on it, suddenly discovered their worlds uprooted through the Depression, and then through the Dust Bowl. The Joads’ quest of reclaiming the American Dream bring away them come California, where they simply want a possibility for a living wage and also some happiness. This is no unlike many people who migrate to America today, and it offers the Joads hope in the confront of one otherwise hopeless situation.


Almost indigenous the outset of their journey, the Joads lose their dog and Grandpa. This is complied with shortly through Connie abandoning his pregnant wife climbed of Sharon, noah deciding to leave his family members at the border, and also then the death of Granma. On peak of all of that, they need to leave behind your friends, the Wilsons, because Sairy Wilson is also sick. Once in California, the Joads space met through hostility and corruption, and are can not to find work. Jim Casy also takes the blame for a fight that breaks out with a corrupt deputy and also is arrested. In spite of all of this, the Joads proceed to persevere in their find for a better life: they walk from the peach farm to a noodle farm, come a boxcar, and eventually to a barn where climbed of Sharon is may be to help a starving man. If we may never know what happens to the Joads, one thing is because that certain: their sheer will and their type hearts space their greatest assets.

The Struggle versus Injustice

The smaller sized farmers are being required out by larger farmers; the bigger farmers space printing 5,000 advertisements because that 800 task openings, i beg your pardon are drawing over 20,000 human being to California; the larger farmers room taking benefit of the migrant workers and also paying them below livable wages; anyone that rises increase or tries come make problem is carted turn off by corrupt law enforcement officials, who room in the farmers’ pockets. These are the injustices that the Joads witness, and which Jim Casy rises up against. The is after Casy’s death that Tommy realizes the this is his calling, too, and that, prefer Casy said, they are all simply a piece of a enlarge soul. Tommy tells Ma, “I been thinkin’ exactly how it was in that gov’ment camp, exactly how our folks took care a theirselves, an’ if they to be a fight they resolved it theirself; an’ they wasn’t no cops wagglin’ your guns, yet they was far better order 보다 them cops ever give. Ns been a-wonderin’ why we can’t carry out that every over. Throw the end the cops the ain’t our people. All work-related together because that our very own thing - all farm yard our own lan’.”

The prestige of Family

Ma Joad i do not care distraught once she realizes, together they cross right into California, the their family members seems to it is in falling apart: Grandpa and Granma space dead; Noah leaves the family; Connie abandons his pregnant wife; and their new “family” members, Ivy and Sairy Wilson have to stay behind. Ma knows the without their household sticking together, they will certainly not survive. Tommy relies on his household to assist him after he kills the police officer who murders Jim Casy; rose of Sharon depends on her household when she husband runs off, and then she gives birth come a stillborn. The family members comes together and forges a new family with the Wainwrights, particularly when Al drops in love v Agnes. Finally, their family proceeds to organize together once they come across the starving man and his son, and invite them into the folds of your family, too. The strength of the Joad family members is what offers them the will certainly to continue to persevere.

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Motifs, Imagery & Symbols

The Joad Farm

The Joad farm yard has been in the household for three generations, and way everything come Pa and Grandpa. Being run off your land by a heartless bank with no one to turn to deals Grandpa rather a blow, and Pa a brand-new set of challenges. Ma seems many dismayed through this lose of family history, and she wonders if California will be all it’s cracked as much as be.

Highway 66

Highway 66, the main migrant route to California, is a roadway of hope because that the migrants looking for a far better life after ~ the lose of their homesteads and jobs. The migrants end up being a kind of family among themselves, forging new friendships with others in need. The Joads find this friendship v the Wilsons, whose kindness throughout Grandpa’s fatality is no forgotten.

The Grapes (and various other Fruit)

A final necessary symbol is the grapes and also other fruit that California’s promises. The expression “the grapes the wrath” originates from “The fight Hymn of the Republic.” transparent the beginning of the novel, Grandpa muses about getting come California and eating as plenty of grapes as he can get his hands on. Later, Steinbeck provides the grapes to indicate the farming unrest in the clash between the migrant workers and the bigger farmers, who space withholding an possibility of a much better life from these destitute and also desperate people. Steinbeck said that he preferred the song “because the is a march and this publication is a kind of march - since it is in our very own revolutionary tradition and also because in referral to this publication it has a large meaning.”