A2 OCR English Literature - The Grapes of Wrath Themes, Quotes & Comparisons with Gatsby

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  • American Dream
    • 'Two hundred and fifty thousand people over the road. Fifty thousand old cars - wounded, steaming. Wrecks along the road, abandoned.
      • Emphasises how many people wanted to achieve the American Dream but ultimately failed.
        • Foreshadows how the Joads won't be successful in achieving their A.D
    • The Grapes of Wrath (Themes & Key Quotes)
      • Prejudice
        • 'These goddamned Okies are dirty and ignorant. They're degenerate, sexual maniacs. Chapter 21.
          • Highlights the prejudice that Californian Farmers had towards the migrants. Were scared that the migrants would take their land and dehumanised themselves from them.
        • 'An' if they's another leader pops up, why, they stick 'im in jail.' Man to Tom in Chapter 20.
          • No way for the migrants to stand up against their oppressors. Arguably due to the Capitalist society. Continually exploited and discriminated against.
        • Link to Gatsby: Tom's racist remarks, his prejudice against w/c, and those of new money. General prejudice against women and new money.
      • Family and Community
        • 'they shared their lives, their food, and the things they hoped for in the new country.'  Chapter 17.
          • Strong community bonds between the migrants - they realise that they're all in the same situation, so must stick together.
        • 'She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family.' Ma Joad, Chapter 8.
          • Matriarch of the family. Her job to take care of the family. Symbolises the strong family bonds within the family.
        • Link to Gatsby: Shallow relationship - Daisy's detached relationship with her daughter, "friendships" were only made to climb the social ladder.
      • Wealth/Poverty
        • 'The more fellas he can get, an' the hungrier, less he's gonna pay.' Chapter 16.
          • Californian Farmers = exploitative of migrants. Migrants have no choice but to accept low wages, keeps them in poverty.
        • 'And now they were weary and frightened because they had gone against a system they did not understand.' Chapter 10.
          • Migrants = oppressed by the capitalist system (banks) Unable to escape poverty.
        • Link to Gatsby: Excess in the West/East Egg vs struggle in the Valley of Ashes. Excess of money. Old vs new money.
      • Morality
        • 'they reassured themselves that they were good and the invaders bad.' Chapter 21.
          • Farmers dehumanise themselves in order to separate themselves from the migrants.
        • After all the struggles that the Joads had gone through, they still have a positive outlook on life.
          • Link to Gatsby: Lack of morality for actions in Gatsby links to the lack of responsibility taken by the banks.
    • 'Maybe we can start again, in the new rich land - in California, where the fruit grows. We'll start over.' Chapter Nine.
      • American Dream = land. Links to the relationship between man and the land.
        • Hopeful that their AD will be achieved. Naive? American Dream = impossible to achieve.
    • Link to Gatsby
      • In both Gatsby and Grapes, the main characters (Gatsby himself and the Joads) strive for the AD and are unable to grasp it.


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