Throughout John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, mankind and the Joads are getting put down and are forced from their homes. When the Joads and other families are forced to leave they do not want to go. They argue that the land is theirs because they grew crops and lived on it. So as they begin to migrate across America, a great metamorphosis occurs to the migrants and they unite to become one family. As the families travel on a transcontinental trip to California they begin to unite with themselves, with others, and with mankind as a whole.
The Joads unite with themselves when Grampa Joad dies of a stroke. Towards the beginning of the novel the Joads suffer a death in the family when grampa Joad dies of a stroke. Out of this tragedy the Joads become a single unit, no longer eleven family members, but a single unit.
“The family became a unit. Pa squatted on the ground, and Uncle John beside him. Pa was the head of the family now. Ma stood behind him. Noah and Tom and Al squatted, and the preacher sat down, and then reclined on his elbow. Connie and Rose of Sharon walked at a distance. Now Ruthie and Winfield, clattering up with a bucket of water held between them, felt the change, and they slowed up and set down the bucket and moved quietly to stand with Ma”(Steinbeck 138-139).
Even though they just went through a death in the family they refrained from grieving because it seemed like a waste of energy.
A prime example of families uniting with other families that they might not even know is at night in the Hooverville. A lot of the migrants ended up in Hoovervilles or in roadside camps. Most of the families meet other families that have suffered the exact same fate they had when they arrive at these camps. "In the evening a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream"(Steinbeck 193).