Grapes Of Wrath Teleological Analysis

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The ultimate meanings of our lives are chosen by our experiences. The end of our lives “cannot be foreseen and will not be limited by such things as destiny” ("Steinbeck's Nonteleological Perspective"). These are common philosophies of non-teleological thinkers such as Edward Ricketts and John Steinbeck. Steinbeck, the famous literary author of The Grapes of Wrath, incorporates this way of thinking into his many works though his characters: their surroundings shaping them and giving purpose to their lives. The Grapes of Wrath is an example of his non-teleological beliefs being incorporated into the nature of his characters; their fate not being pre-determined, but rather dependent on life events. Many characters such as Jim Casey, an ex-preacher,…show more content…
These literary figures portray “the endless story of the strivings of a life-force to endure and triumph over” any obstacle (102). Flannery O’Connor wrote that “the modern reader demands a story that offers spiritual redemption” (382) –“an access to a dimension of living that rises above the contest of brute survival” (George). These critics write around the idea that human beings innately drive to find a meaning for their existence and Steinbeck as well as many authors cannot get around “their own struggles to find or create some ultimate meaning” (George): which is true. Every novel has an ultimate meaning or pre-determined end. However, the characters within the novel do not. Steinbeck was presented with conflict while writing the conclusion to The Grapes of Wrath. Any other ending would've been seen as “I saw it coming all along”. He, therefore, chooses to leave the reader to wonder of the Joads' fate; their journey ending with Rose of Sharon “smiling mysteriously”. This way, he sticks to his non-teleological pattern that he developed throughout the

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