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Word Count: 386
Optimism in The Grapes of Wrath At the end of the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck it seems as though the Joads have nothing left to live for however Steinbeck shows signs of optimism through symbols and biblical allusions The Joads have gone through tremendous hardships throughout their entire trip to California to find work They have lost several family members have gone without work and lived on extremely low rations for months At the height of their struggles the Joads are without food shelter and their strongest member Tom Joad The daughter Rose of Sharon also delivers a stillborn baby Steinbeck does however end the story with symbols of hope The rain which is constantly pouring down is a symbol of renewal The rain represents the coming of spring and plants The rain has made Atiny points of grass came through the earth and Athe hills were pale green with the beginning year592 enabling for new crops to grow and for families to find work Rose of Sharons stillborn baby is also a symbol of optimism Uncle John is told to bury the baby after it is delivered Instead Uncle John decides to float the baby down a river in its coffin Through this action Steinbeck alludes to Moses who was also sent down a river as a baby and later freed his people from slavery and brought them to Isreal As Uncle John puts the stillborn baby into the river he tells it to AGo down an tell em Go down in the street an rot an tell em that way609 Uncle John is telling the baby to show the rich landowners what their greediness has done Uncle John sends the baby down as a symbol of the great suffering the have-nots have been through saying Amaybe theyll know then609 The last symbol of optimism comes when Rose of Sharon nurses a dying man The man has been deprived of
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