Grapes of Wrath
The Great Depression
In the movie, The Grapes of Wrath, one of the biggest problems in the movie is the fact that the great depression is in its prime. The great depression is the main cause and the sound basis for the movie.
When you think about it after watching the movie, all of the events in the movie happened because of the great depression. The only reason that all of these people were moving out west was because they had no work. They were not making enough money to feed their families.
I could not really tell you whether or not the Joad family had it the worst back then (saying that this really happened). It was probably one of the hardest things that people had to do. They had to leave everything behind them to try and find a better life.
It was not like the gold rush. People during the gold rush did not have to leave their homes. They left voluntarily. It was a totally different story during The Grapes of Wrath. The men who drove the “cats” (caterpillar tractors) came to the houses of the people and told them that they had to leave by a certain time. If they did not leave, they would be put in jail and then the men on the cats would plow over their houses anyway with no remorse. When asked why they did this, they simply said that they had a family to feed just like the rest of the people who were suffering during this difficult time.
Most of the families that the movie showed were very reluctant to leave and when the cats came, they would attempt to stand their ground and threaten the workers. They would say that if they came any further, that they would shoot at the workers. I remember that one worker said that it would not do any good because if he got shot, the sheriff would come and put him in jail and then more men with more cats would come to finish the job. I dont think that I could live with having to lose my home and everything that I have lived with for my whole life.
When the scene came for the Joads to leave their home, they did not seem to resistant. I guess that they did not see the point. The great depression was the cause for all of this.
I don’t think that it is safe to say that the great depression had killed the grandparents. When grandpa died, it could have been of old age, or lunacy. Maybe it could have been the fact that he was broken over the fact that he had to leave his home against his own will. His own family had to get him drunk just so he would get on the truck to go with the rest of them. He did not want to leave even if it meant that he could not see his own family any more. I think that is a good example of the effects of the great depression on the lives and actions of people in the movie.
The way that grandma died was also rather depressing. She died in the back of the truck. She was already dead before the police stopped them in that town. That seemed rather disrespectful but the mother said that she told grandma right before she died that they had to keep going so that they would get across. She said that if they were stopped that they might not get across. This was kind of cold but they did what they had to do.
The effects of the depression on the mother were not so obvious but you could tell. Her character was very quiet and depressed. She never said much. I remember the scene in the truck when they were just beginning their journey. Someone asked her why she was so quiet. She said that she had just lost her home and could never go back to the place where she grew up. That was deep. I think that this shows that the depression effects different people in different ways
The different way that it effected people like Casey was that it caused him and his friends to become separated from everyone else. They were the rebels. They did not think that it was fair that the pay for the labor that they were doing was fair. This got Casey killed.
As for Tom, he was kind of the hero in this story. He was the one who looked out for his family. He was the one who stood up for Casey. When I say this, I mean to say that he killed the police man after the man killed Casey. I am not saying that this was the right thing to do but it was noble and it did show his friendship for Casey. Tom was the one who left his family when he was a threat to their well-being. Many people would say the Tom Joad is not a hero. I certainly disagree with them. I feel that Tom Joad is one of the greatest fictional heros of all time.
I think the effect that the depression had on the abundance of jobs was staggering. There was no work to be found anywhere. The only reason that all of these people went out west to California was to find work. In the movie, the Joads had sheets of paper that had information concerning the need for pickers in California. When they asked a gas station attendant about work, he said that all of the work had moved south. The attendant also gave his philosophy on the handouts, he told the Joads that the man needed eight-hundred pickers. Now to make sure that he got all eight-hundred pickers, he would print five thousand. And for every five thousand, he would see fifty thousand people who would come out looking for work. I think that that is amazing how many people were looking for work. When I think of the unemployment rate that there is today and compare it to the un-measurable rate of unemployment during the thirties, there is no comparison. If you walk around town you will see help wanted signs in many of the windows of the stores and shops. I feel that we have recovered from this economic disaster acceptionally well. We are now the most successful nation in the world
I think that The Grapes of Wrath was a very good movie and a very good story about how, when in tough times, families and friends stick together and help each other out. When Tom killed the cop who killed his friend Casey. And this may seem like a bad example but when Tom left his family at the end of the movie. This helped out the family because if he would have stayed, he would be putting their freedom and well being in jeopardy. I think the great depression was the cause for all of this and that is quite obvious.