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.
They don"tmt belong no place" With us it ain"tmt like that. During the Depression, many were unable to accomplish their dreams because the Great Depression was a source of "economic climate in which the achievement of that dream the American Dream seemed more remote than ever for many. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters". Moreover, the employer"tms deceitful advertisement and contradicting wages to the advertised wages caused Casy and Tom to be strike-leaders and many workers to partake in a strike movement. In the beginning of the novel, George and Lennie were running away from a town called Weeds, once again, for absurd actions of Lennie. In a different manner, other men did not save up money because they would waste their money in whorehouses and bars during their Saturday nights. " Although Noah Joad was one family member who was unnoticeably quiet, his leaving contributed to the breakdown of the family. The Joads were the assistance that the Wilsons needed to go on with the journey. Many other families, such as the Wilsons family joined the Joads in the popular migration movement to California. George did not allow anybody on the farm to partake in the fraternity and the friendship that he and Lennie shared. His departure added to the breakdown of the family, and to the despondency of his wife, Rose of Sharon. Furthermore, Steinbeck placed his Of Mice and Men characters in social dilemma quite different from the social recession that resulted due to economic depression in Grapes of Wrath. Not only did many individual persons have a social impact on the other migrants or the family, few organizations and their corruptness were responsible for most workers"tm distresses.