Grapes of Wrath Characters

Grapes of Wrath Characters
  • Page:
  • Words:
  • Downloads:
Disclaimer: This work has been donated by a student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service.

In America, the Great Depression affected immigrants adversely. Californians were among the people who shared in the misery, and they highly depended on relief. Those immigrants working on the farms could hardly accumulate enough money for food. In his novel, “Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck recounts some of the experiences of immigrants in the United States during the Great Depression. He points at the calculated greed as something that contributed to the sorrow experienced by farmers. Selfishness by a few wealthy people caused drifts in families and increasing hatred among humans. The farm owners countered the problems by introducing agribusiness, which tended to maximize profits. If Grape of Wrath had a final chapter, it would highlight the major problems encountered by immigrants during World War II.

The organization of labor unions would still be a problem for immigrant workers. Tom is one of the characters that would be affected by such a problem, and he would lead in unauthorized strikes across California. World War II rules prevent men from getting involved in such activities, but during this time, a lot would have changed because of the impetus to expand several industries, bringing about several job opportunities. As seen in the novel, the theme of exploitation is among the problems faced by immigrants. In WW II, the same would be experienced, regardless of the fact that the employees would benefit from bunkhouses. Due to such exploitation, the people would riot and strike, and on the other hand, law and order would take its “just” course, and there would be heightened, and uncalled for violence. In the final chapter, Tom would be among the few people calling for unions’ formation, as they seek a wage increase. As a result, the farm owners despised him, but the employees, who would be yearning to end the labor dictatorship, would value him. As experienced by the characters in previous chapters of Steinbeck’s novel, the issue of individualism versus communism would be rampant. If Tom lived during WWII, he would be unstoppable to ensure that he realizes the dream Casy had struggled to achieve.

            In the final chapter of the novel, World War II would change in family structure. Several changes accompanied World War II, and California boomed during the years of war. Therefore, the lives of women underwent a metamorphosis. In the final chapter of the novel, Rose of Sharon would be among the characters who would experience a shift in her socioeconomic status. The demand for labor would allow her to seek better opportunities and leave home. Roles traditionally termed as women would undertake men’s. World War II would become a time when women would have a voice and undertake leadership roles. Although women during the great depression had the responsibility of supporting the males, this would change, and they would also undertake challenging roles. Wartime factories would become highly productive, allowing women to work in those traditional roles initially allocated to men. Women would go to the extent of working in welding sections in an industry. Therefore, Rose of Sharon would no longer stay at home with her mother but would join other people in factories. This would change the social standards of the immigrants because the wartime boom tripled the income of the workers in California. 

            Seeking equality is another thing to be experienced in the final chapter of the novel. Although people tended to work together, discrimination and bias continue to be experienced during WWII. Although the demand for the workers would rise during this time, there would still be no equality. This is because of selfish needs. Moreover, company owners or farm owners look forward to making more profit; the employees may sometimes have no alternative, but to play along with such demands. More technical jobs would be offered due to the demand for ships as well as aircrafts building. Manufacturing employments would not favor immigrants, mainly because most of them only had farming skills. Therefore, any demand to change their status quo may go unheeded. Characters in the final chapter may encounter similar problems. Competition would increase among the immigrants, and as a result, hostility would rise. On the one hand, immigrants would receive employment as the last option because the first choice would be the natives. The wages would be different from the immigrants earning meager pay. The final chapter would illustrate that regardless of the changing circumstances, most immigrants continue to suffer due to inequality. During WW II, immigrants would continue experiencing the same isolation.

 Another character who would experience change is Al. He is young and able, and in the final chapter of the novel, the American government would seek his services by joining the army. Employment in the military expanded during WW II. This not only happened as more young people joined the army, but the government also financed their investment in military installations. AL’s life would change in the last chapter as he is infused in the military, or in other activities concerned with military operations. As a result, the family’s social status would change because soldiers were handsomely paid during this time, but at the same time, the cohesion in the family would be negatively impacted. Besides, Tom would be against such a move because he believes in inequality and not the exploitation of his people. This is because the rate of pay for the immigrants would not equal that of the other soldiers, despite the fact that they would all be subjected to similar environmental conditions, as well as threats. As seen in the novel, immigrants are subjected to similar routes, known as the “mother roads”(Steinbeck 79). They illustrate the difficulties experienced by a specified group of people.

 In conclusion, if John Steinbeck’s novel, “Grapes of Wrath,” were to have an extra chapter, Tom would be among the people to experience changes; for instance, he would continue to fight for equality for his people. As a result, he would end up hiding to prevent being targeted or killed for his policies. Gender roles would also change, and Ma would head the family because others would be working. Rose of Sharon would not be held back by gender roles, and she would join other women working in positions traditionally held by men. Al would also be sort by the government to join the army, a thing that would not augur well with Tom. The social status of the entire family would make positive changes.