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THE EXTENDED FAMILY: A SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND HOPE In his books Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck captured the reality of the struggles that struck mankind in different forms and in various levels as he had observed during his lifetime. Steinbeck observed mainly Californians and migrants who had suffered from poverty and distress brought to them by the Depression and the Dust Bowl, the dust storm that brought drought to the Great Plains during 1932 to 1939. He began to write books to sympathize with and encourage the many downtrodden people whom he had watched. Steinbeck suggested a method of comfort and relief to those who were alone and suffering; he discussed the significance that an extended family has in providing its constituents the strength to cope with their economic insecurities and social problems. Due to the Dust Bowl and the Depression that hit the United States in the thirties, many Oklahomans experienced a sudden abandonment from their landlords. Since most Oklahomans were farmers, many were left jobless once they were kicked off their land. For the sake of survival, this economic catastrophe resulted in two different cases of reactions: that of Muley Graves and that of the Joads. Steinbeck introduced a character, Muley Graves, who became a beggar because he was too attached to the land to leave and too independent to abide with his family that had left, travelling to California. Too stubborn to budge, Muley just scowled, “If they throw me off, I’ll come back… I ain’t a –goin’…An’ I ain’t a-going” while remanding behind by the land that no longer was under his family control or estate, eating wild animals to survive. However, a different mentality of the farmers was shown through the Joads. When their land was taken away, for the sake of survival, Joads did not hesitate to leave their land at once: their “houses were left vacant on the land, because… only th...

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THE EXTENDED FAMILY A SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND HOPE. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:11, August 27, 2014, from