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The Grapes of Wrath-  Essay
The Grapes of Wrath-  Essay
The Grapes of Wrath-  Essay
The Grapes of Wrath-  Essay
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The Grapes of Wrath- Essay

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  • 1. Confidence is the Priority<br />Hannah Moulds<br />Humanities 30-1<br />Mr. Kabachia<br />November 19, 2009<br />When considering self-preservation, it is important to understand what role it plays when individuals respond to competing demands. When talking about Self-preservation we refer to the innate desire to stay alive, as well as protection of oneself from harm and destruction. When an individual is responding to competing demands, it is a natural reaction to think of yourself and how these demands could affect you. By having an understanding of yourself, your beliefs, as well as self-confidence, you will be able to prioritize competing demands according to their importance. This is important in making wise choices and avoiding a sense of being overwhelmed which could lead to serious consequences. In the novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback the characters are faced with a great depression, they must move off of their family farm and travel to California in order to find new jobs. For some characters, such as Grandpa and Grandma Joad, they had difficulty departing from their family farm, and both consecutively pass away on the journey due to their fragile state of minds. Jim Casey on the other hand, also known as the preacher, no longer felt confidence in himself as a preacher. He knew that in order to get through tough times, the only person we should rely on is ourselves. Ma Joad was also a character whose self-preservation played a major role in her response to competing demands. She used a collective idea; she knew that if the family stays together, they will be strong enough to get through this depression. <br />Having to move off of the family farm took a toll on many of the family member, but Grandpa and Grandma Joad had the most tragic response to this life changing experience. Even though Grandpa Joad knew moving to California was the right thing to do, he came to realize that it was not how he wanted to live the rest of his life. Right before the family set off on their journey, Grandpa exclaimed, ““I belong here…this country aint no good, but its my country.” (pg. 152) This was when we started to realize Grandpa was no longer confidant that it was the right thing for him to do. The demand of moving to California was now a stress, and he could no longer felt the importance of this journey. This placed him in a very fragile situation, and the stress got too much and he died of a stroke on the side of Route 66. Grandma Joad relied deeply on her husband; she knew that what he did was the right thing to do. But after his death, her health deteriorated. She no longer had anything to live for, and she soon gave up on the journey and passed away. Both of these characters gave up because they no longer believed this journey had hope, this then lead to their own demise. <br />A character who was introduced with no self confidence and no longer believed in himself was Jim Casey. He was a confused preacher who no longer believed that preaching would fix people’s problems. Jim Casey once said, “…Maybe its all men and all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit- the human sperit- the whole shebang.” (pg. 32-33) This gives the idea that we are in our own hands, and we are responsible for ourselves. If we don’t rely on bigger things than us in times of need, we will be more successful when dealing with difficult situations. Casey shared his ideas with the family in order to help them on their journey, but the majority of them still insisted on him preaching to God. These demands were hard on Casey because it was going against his new beliefs, so he no longer felt important. Just before he died, he shared with Tom Joad, “I aint doin nobody no good.” This showed that he ones again had no confidence in himself, and felt worthless to the family. He then made a decision to sacrifice his own life for his friend. Jim Casey was an example of a man who developed a new outlook on religion in order for himself, and the Joad family to succeed. But the competing demands of his conscience and the families urge to preach, lead him to giving up.<br />In every family you must have a citadel in order to keep the family strong and safe, in this novel this is Ma Joad. She is constantly looking out for everyone, making sure they are getting along and well fed. Ma is one character who uses the whole family as her self-preservation; she is selfish in her selflessness. She knows that if the family is well looked after by her, then the family will be able to get through the hardships. Steinback described her importance to the family, “And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her…” (pg.100) This quote greatly shows her significance in the family, if she did not show pain, neither would anyone else. Ma used this to her advantage; if she kept a strong mentality then so would the men. If the men were strong, then they would be able to find jobs and would work hard. <br />Steinback used these characters to develop the idea that if they believe in themselves, and have confidence, they can prioritize demands accordingly.<br />

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