Strength of Family
Throughout Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath, the center focus is on the Joad family and how they stay together during a time of despair. The main reason the family made it to the end of the book was their strong relationships with each other and their support for one another. Ma was the main character who kept the family together by not allowing anyone to leave or be separated. The Joad’s fought through deaths, starvation, homelessness, and drought together throughout the story by sticking together.
The idea of survival circled around the Joad’s heads the entire novel. The theme of survival was depicted throughout the book as the Joad’s and all the migrant workers attempted to find a place where they could call home. The families worked and traveled to survive the harsh conditions of the Great Depression. The lack of jobs and wages made the idea of survival almost a dream as most of the migrant people were groups of families with many relatives but little money.
The Cruelty of Men
Men’s cruelty was a theme that was shown in the wealthy landowners. These men were greedy and unwilling to share their prosperity with the migrant workers in The Grapes of Wrath. The men were harsh and unsympathetic to the starving migrants because they were scared of them. Their growing fear from the “Okies” caused them to protect their land. The landowners knew that the migrant workers were powerful because they had something to fight for so the landowners did everything they could to hurt, scare, and cause trouble to the “Okies.” The cruelty only made life during the Great Depression harder for the migrants.