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Gow Essay

  • Submitted by: DDeeshae
  • on June 1, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 568 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Gow Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The ultimate meanings of our lives are chosen by our experiences. The end of our lives “cannot be foreseen and will not be limited by such things as destiny” ("Steinbeck's Nonteleological Perspective"). These are common philosophies of non-teleological thinkers such as Edward Ricketts and John Steinbeck. Steinbeck, the famous literary author of The Grapes of Wrath, incorporates this way of thinking into his many works though his characters: their surroundings shaping them and giving purpose to their lives. The Grapes of Wrath is an example of his non-teleological beliefs being incorporated into the nature of his characters; their fate not being pre-determined, but rather dependent on life events.
Many characters such as Jim Casey, an ex-preacher, reflect this concept. As Jim Casey’s life progresses throughout the novel, he becomes one for the people because they are one and “All that lives is holy” (Steinbeck Ch 13). His new way of thinking prompts the dramatic character development of Tom Joad, who goes from a carpe diem philosophy to social activist who looks forward to bettering the future. This development is the most critical example of Steinbeck’s belief. The hardship faced by the Joads on their westward journey influenced Tom’s decision to convert to Casey’s teachings and become a person of the people. However, whilst developing Tom Joad, Steinbeck loses sight of his non-teleological purpose; Tom becomes one who looks toward the future rather than his past day-by-day living. Another character influenced heavily by non-teleological thinking is Rose of Sharon.   Pregnancy transformed her from a “hoyden” into a mysterious woman. However, at the end of the novel, she meets a starving man in a barn and breastfeeds him, an act that is saintly and relates her to the Virgin Mother.
Warren French argues that Steinbeck moved from characters with naturalistic tendencies to characters who manifest an “awakening of…consciousness that coincides with the awakening of…...

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