Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is both a historical and
literary depiction of the lives of California migrant workers who became
victims to the dry spells that plagued the Dust Bowl regions (Kansas,
Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado) during the 1930s.The novel,
through the lead characters, Tom Joad and his family, Steinbeck illustrated
life of Oklahomans who migrated to California in search for work and
living.However, the Joad family’s life served as thesymbol’
representing all California migrant workers during the period.This is
because the novel actually discusses the conflict between the California
migrant workers (protagonist) and the white American society (antagonist).
Moreover, the novel is also a display of conflict between poverty and
wealth, as American society shifts from being an agricultural to urban.
Conflict between the migrant workers and white Americans in California
stemmed from the threat that the migrants posed for the state’s
inhabitants: the migration of people from the Dust Bowl regions led to
lesser opportunities for work and economic resources for them
Tom Joad, the main character of the novel, best represent the migrant
worker of the30s, who was forced to leave his home for want of a better
life in California.However, hopes for his family’s good fortune in their
new life led to disillusionment when he witnessed thesorry’ state of
migrants in and theugliness’ of California.This realization surfaced as
they neared and arrived at the state: “Tom looked about the grimy tents,
the junk equipment, at the old cars, the lumpy mattresses out in the sun,
at the blackened cans on fire-blackened holes where the people cooked”
(286).The inevitable conflict that discrimination among migrant workers
finally led to Tom’s downfall, when he was (wrongfully) accused of killing
Casy.His disillusionment and becoming a fugitive bui…