.. g a plow to plow your own children under, buying the arms and spirits that might have saved you. Five dollars, not four. I can’t haul ’em back- Well, take ’em for four. But I warn you, you’re buying what will plow your Barror-4 own children under.
And you won’t see. You can’t see. Take ’em for four. Now, what’ll you give for the team and wagon? Those fine bays, matched they are, matched in color, matched the way they walk, stride to stride. In the stiff pull – straining hams and buttocks, split-second timed together. And in the morning the light on them, bay light. They look over the fence sniffing for us, and the stiff ears swivel to hear us, and the black forelocks! I’ve got a girl. She likes to braid the manes and forelocks, puts little red bows on them. Likes to do it.
Not any more. I could tell you a funny story about that girl and that off bay. Would make you laugh. Off horse is eight, near is ten, but might of been twin colts the way they work together. See? The teeth. Sound all over. Deep lungs.
Feet fair and clean. How much? Ten dollars? For both? And the wagon- Oh, Jesus Christ! I’d shoot ’em for dog feed first. Oh, take ’em! Take ’em quick, mister. You’re buying a little girl plaiting the forelocks, taking off her hair ribbon to make bows, standing back, head cocked, rubbing the soft noses with her cheek. You’re buying years of work, toil in the sun; you’re buying a sorrow that can’t talk. But watch it, mister.
There’s a premium goes with this pile of junk and the bay horses – so beautiful – a packet of bitterness to grow in your house and to flower, some day. We could have saved you, but you cut us down, and soon you will be cut down and there’ll be none of us to save you.” (118) There is a lot of symbolism throughout The Grapes of Wrath, in the form of events or even in the characters themselves. The first noticeable use of this is in chapter three, with a turtle who is simply trying to get to the end of a road. He slowly plods along in the heat, never stopping in his journey, although he is faced with many obstacles. A car whizzes by, barely nicking him and sending him skidding across the road with his shell overturned.
Once the danger is past he emerges from his shell and continues on, only to be picked up by Tom Joad, who carries him for a distance with the intention of giving him to Winfield as a present. Naturally this is not in the turtle’s plans, but he tolerates it and once set down by Tom, works his way free of the jacket that restrained him and slowly makes his way back towards his goal. This is symbolic of the Joad’s journey to California, with all the hardships they faced. Yet they never faltered on their path, each and every member of the family knew where they wanted to go and didn’t allow minor setbacks to stop them. It has been questioned by some as to whether Jim Casy is meant to symbolize Jesus Christ in this story.
I believe that he is, there are many small hints pointing to it, such as his initials (J.C.), along with many broader indications. His lifestyle of preaching Barror-5 and leading people in revolt, as well as sacrificing himself for Tom and the Joad family supports this belief well. He also had a follower, or disciple in Tom, who after Casy’s death decides to leave the family to carry on his message. “Tom laughed uneasily, “well maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one- an’ then – ” “Then what, Tom?” “Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark.
I’ll be ever’where – wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’- I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they knows supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build- why, I’ll be there. See? God, I’m talkin’ like Casy.
Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.” (572) The last major point of symbolism in the book is shown in Rosasharn’s baby. The baby comes to symbolize death, but at the same time, life. It is a stillborn, never once took a breath to live, which was the hardest death for the family to deal with, the one that never lived. At the same time, it is a blessing in disguise. Shortly after this occurs there is a great and steady rain, which the Joads seek shelter from in an abandoned barn.
Upon entering they discover a young boy and his father in the corner, the boy informs them that his father is starving to death and cannot keep food down. He is desperate for milk and wonders if they had any money to spare in which to buy some. Upon hearing this Ma and Rosasharn exchange a knowing look. Ma takes the rest of the family out to a tool shed and leaves Rosasharn with the old man. Rosasharn proceeds to give the man the life-giving milk that he so desperately needs and her baby did not live to put use to. In doing this her baby unknowingly gave its life in return for saving that of another.
Steinbeck uses this novel as a warning to large landowners as well as the government during the depression. There was a great injustice being done to these people and it wouldn’t be long before they did something about it. You cannot suppress a large group of society for an extended amount of time without there being an uprising against it. He states this in chapter nineteen, and for once doesn’t use Barror-6 any sort of symbolism to mask the meanings behind his words. He comes right out and states the events that have led up to this point and says there will be a revolt eventually, the question is simply when.
They were hungry, and they were fierce. And they had hoped to find a home, and they found only hatred. Okies – the owners hated them because the owners knew they were soft and the Okies strong, that they were fed and the Okies hungry; and perhaps they had heard from their grandfathers how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed. The owners hated them. And in the towns, the storekeepers hated them because they had no money to spend.
There is no shorter path to a storekeeper’s contempt, and all his admirations are exactly opposite. The town men, little bankers, hated the Okies because there was nothing to gain from them. They had nothing. And the laboring people hated the Okies because a hungry man must work, if he has to work, the wage payer automatically gives him less for his work; and then no one can get more. (318) English Essays.