Death Was a Universal Theme in the Grapes of Wrath and a Streetcar Named Desire

637 Words3 Pages
Everyone in The Grapes of Wrath was affected by death. The book starts off with the Joads going through hard times. Tom Joad being in jail, the massive drought and the family losing their land were just a few of many hard times for them. The book is set up for tragedies. Starting with Tom Joad telling a truck driver about how he has gotten parole after killing a man. A massive drought causes the family to lose their crops and not be able to afford their land. When the bank kicks the family out of their house, they decide that they will travel to California in hopes of creating a more financial future. Unfortunately when the family started their move to California the real troubles start. In the beginning Grampa was looking forward to picking the oranges and eating them, but soon Grampa gets cold feet and the family gives him medicine that knocks him unconscious. Once loaded the family starts the trip, but soon they need gas and water. This is when the first death occurs; a car purposefully runs down the family dog. The family does not really think of this as a bad event, but John Steinbeck uses this event to foreshadow the tragedies that lay ahead. Grampa Joad starts becoming ill during the same time frame that the dog was killed becoming the next turn of events for the family. Grampa never makes it to California because he passes away due to a stroke. Everyone is in shock over this, especially Gramma Joad, and Pa Joad becomes the head of the family. Grampa’s death affected Gramma so much that she gives up on life and Ma Joad makes it her goal to get Gramma to California no matter what. In order to get to a doctor, Ma bluffs her way through the Inspection station. Ma is unsuccessful at saving Gramma. After getting into California, Ma tells the family that Gramma has died. The family wants to do the right thing with Gramma’s body but financially cannot afford it

More about Death Was a Universal Theme in the Grapes of Wrath and a Streetcar Named Desire

Open Document