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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

A STEP BEYOND TERM PAPER IDEAS
  • CHARACTER ANALYSES
    1. Ma Joad, Tom or Casy- which is the hero of The Grapes of Wrath?
    2. In which ways is Jim Casy a Christ-figure?
    3. How does Jim Casy turn his thought into action?
    4. To what extent is Tom Joad a disciple of Jim Casy?
    5. How does Tom Joad transform himself from an exconvict to do-gooder?
    6. In what ways do the roadside misfits in The Grapes of Wrath exemplify the qualities of defeat?
    7. Is Ma Joad's revolt necessary?
    8. Who are the stereotypes in The Grapes of Wrath?
    9. How does Al Joad's coming of age take place in the book?
    10. How does Rose of Sharon convert from a misfit to a madonna?
  • STUDIES OF THE FAMILY
    1. What are the roles of men, women, or children in the Joad family?
    2. Does a generation gap exist in the Joad family?
    3. How do the Joad family's values change in the course of the novel?
    4. Which concepts of family do you find in The Grapes of Wrath?
  • THEME EXPLORATIONS
    1. What is Muley Graves' influence on the Joads?
    2. What is the significance of Steinbeck's "I-We" statement?
    3. is the brotherhood of Man a hopeless quest in the novel?
    4. is the brotherhood of Man a realistic goal in the novel?
    5. How does California turn out to be a land of broken promises?
    6. What is the nature of the battle between machines and people in The Grapes of Wrath?
    7. How do automation and human values conflict in The Grapes of Wrath?
    8. In what sense are the Joads descendants of the American pioneers?
    9. What happens to the Joads after Chapter 30?

  • MOTIFS AND SYMBOLS IN THE GRAPES OF WRATH
    1. What is the symbolic value of the turtle (Chapter 3)?
    2. In what ways may Ma Joad be deemed a symbol of America?
    3. How do food, animals, houses, or caves derive symbolic meaning in The Grapes of Wrath?
    4. What is the symbolic meaning of Grampa's rebellion?
    5. How are the land and its people bound together?
    6. How are Biblical allusions and imagery used in The Grapes of Wrath?
    7. In what ways might the Joads serve as symbols of the American character?
  • LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE
    1. How do the interchapters function in The Grapes of Wrath?
    2. What styles of writing does Steinbeck use in The Grapes of Wrath?
  • POINT OF VIEW
    1. Is The Grapes of Wrath a propaganda novel?
    2. What role does government play in The Grapes of Wrath?
    3. What is Steinbeck's economic philosophy in the novel?
    4. Is The Grapes of Wrath a myth or does it show reality?
  • THE MEANINGS OF THE GRAPES OF WRATH
    1. What is the meaning of the book's title?
    2. What is the American dream as portrayed in The Grapes of Wrath?
    3. Is The Grapes of Wrath as relevant today as when it was written?
    4. In what ways is The Grapes of Wrath a novel of social protest?

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© Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.
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