The novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, is a classic American novel about the Great Depression. The novel is written in incalerarly chapters and is about the struggles that migrant workers faced during this time. When Steinbeck was writing his novel, he did lots of research and the struggles he writes about are from real stories. As we look closely at the chapters individually, from the syntax and diction, we are able to conclude the overall purpose of the novel.
Steinbeck’s use of parallelism and diction, in chapter 5, supports his message that the farmers were against something they could not take down lone. In Chapter 5, there are a few examples of parallelism syntax within the context. One of which is, ” Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves.
Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling”, by the repetition of the ord, “some”, this excerpt is defining the differences of the owner. However by the phrase, “all of them”, we are also shown that despite the differences, they are all the same. In addition, an example of parallelism within the story is, ” If the dust only wouldn’t fly. If the top would only stay on the soil. it might not be so bad. “, this example shows the hardships they are going through and how they are saying, “if the .. nly”, although there are several more problems they are inconsolable and hopeless.
Another example is, ” But-you see, a bank or a company can’t o that, because those creatures don’t breathe air, don’t eat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don’t get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so. “, this parallelism, shows that the banks are nonhuman. The banks and companies are just money driven and that is what they need in order to survive, just like a human needs air and food to survive.
Also by saying, ” It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so” the parallelism shows the defeat and sadness of the migrant workers. Lastly, We can’t depend on it. The bank-the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. when the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size”, the purpose of this parallelism is short, choppy, and to the point. The author is quick and to the point as if that is what it is, simple as that. Chapter 5, of The Grapes of Wrath, is filled with powerful diction that truly allows Steinbeck to get his point across.
For example, “The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength f insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, sputtering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar. Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines.
They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, house. “, this paragraph is filled with several examples. The phrase, ” great crawlers moving like insect”, represents the tractors as inhumane pest only there to destroy and “the incredible strength of insects” is representing a farmer’s worst fear of is an invasive species of insect horde destroying the crops, this is comparing the tractors to this.
Next, Steinbeck, calls the tractors ” Snub-nosed monsters”, here he is comparing the tractors to monsters and he describes the yards in a way that makes you imagine your own yard getting destroyed, “ raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, hrough dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, house”.
Other examples within the chapter are, ” smolder of pain was in their eyes”, this shows the depression of the farmers as they are kicked out of their homes and “He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals”, makes the tractor seem a lot more powerful and not human with the word, “iron”. From the syntax and diction, it is clear that the author’s tone of the chapter is sympathy for the farmers, sad, and anger. Steinbeck allows us to see the tractors are nonhuman and vicious and the farmers have no power in what happens.
Another example, that shows us this is, “I got to figure,” the tenant said. “We all got to figure. There’s some way to stop this. Its not like lightning or earthquakes. We’ve got a bad thing made by men, and by God that’s something we can change. The tenant sat in his doorway, and the driver thundered his engine and started off, tracks falling and curving, harrows combing, and the phalli of the seeder slipping into the ground. Across the dooryard the tractor cut, and the hard, foot-beaten ground was eeded field, and the tractor cut through again; the uncut space was ten feet wide.
And back he came. The iron guard bit into the house- corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the little house from its foundation so that it fell sideways, crushed like a bug. And the driver was goggled and a rubber mask covered his nose and mouth. The tractor cut a straight line on, and the air and the ground vibrated with its thunder. The tenant man stared after it, his rifle in his hand. His wife was beside him, and the quiet children behind. And all of them stared after the tractor” from his it is evident that the farmers cannot defeat the tractors.
Collectively, with the syntax, diction, and tone of the author, it is evident that Steinbeck’s purpose of the chapter was to illustrate that although the farmers may have caused this problem, there’s no turning back and they cannot defeat the banks alone. From syntax, we can understand the diction of a text and from the diction we can understand the tone of the author. The tone of the author is what helps us find the purpose. All these components rely on each other to understand what is going on in the story. This is why analyzing chapters individually can be the most productive.
In chapter 5, we are able to see Steinbeck uses parallelism to explain the rush and depressed of what is happening to the farmers. The diction shows how superior the tractors and bank are in the novel and the tone expresses the author’s sympathy for the migrant workers and the struggles they faced. Which bring us to the purpose of the farmers alone have no chance against the banks. Lastly, the overall purpose of the novel is to get an emotional response from the audience, which Steinbeck clearly does through his rhetorical devices.