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Essay/Term paper: The grapes of wrath: description al joad and the setting

Essay, term paper, research paper:  The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath: Description Al Joad and the Setting

Al Joad is a fairly skinny guy of medium built who starts out being a
cocky, self-conceited character. His only justifiable reason for acting cocky
is that his brother, Tom, killed a man and went to jail. Al respects his brother
and thinks of him as a man for having killed another man. The fact of the
matter is that Tom was only acting in self defense. After a man came after Tom
with a knife, Tom hit him over the head with a shovel, and killing him in the
process. Al would receive complements all over town from people who recognize
him and being the brother of a man that was a killer. As soon as Tom Joad
comes home from prison, Al is a changed person. He is no longer cocky and he
almost resents his brother coming home so soon. As the Joad family is forced to
leave their home land and travel to California, Al takes on a great
responsibility. His job is to drive the family and take complete care of the
truck that they are driving. Al takes his job very seriously and gets upset when
anything happens to the car. Emotionally, I would say Al has become very strong
throughout the novel. He starts out pretty depend on the "glory" of his brother,
but he takes his responsibilities seriously. I see Al as being a crucial
character later in the novel. He is the kind of person that needs motivation
from the start, but once he gets going, he won't stop.

Setting Description

Oklahoma could best be described as one large dustbowl. All rain has
ceased to fall. The dry wind wisps through the air and gathers dirt. If you
listen closely enough, it sounds as though there are people moaning whenever
wind is present. The heat is so humid that any source of water is dried up, and
the plants wither away. All of the corn crops are gone as well as all other
crops. The dirt is like sand; it has no moisture or fertilization. It is
grainy and hard as though no water has ever moistened it. Day after day,
storm clouds can be seen lingering overhead. You could swear it would rain any
minute, but it never does. The humidity only increases and the fine dust
particles become part of the air; which only makes things worse. Not only is it
unbearably hot, but it is terribly difficult to breathe. Life cannot exist in
such unbearable conditions. For this reason, life moves on and leaves behind
the giant dustbowl.


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