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Graphs of Wrath and the "Oversoul"
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Literary Elements

Steinbeck utilized numerous literary elements in his writings to help portray the overall theme and meaning of the novel. 

Amoung the many literary elements seen in The Grapes of Wrath, Allusions, Parallel Structure, Alliterations, and Imagery are examples of the most prevelent. 

ALLUSIONS: An Allusion is reference in a novel to another novel, or idea by some other author.  The purpose of an allusion is to add the ideas contained in a different book to the books own ideas.  Steinbeck alludes to many different works inlcluding "The Over-soul", "The Ecclesiastes", the Marx Manifesto, and many more.  (Click the above link or go to the "allusions page" to learn more about one example of an allusion)
PARALLEL STRUCTURE: This literary element deals with repetitions and events going full circle.  Steinbeck often utilizes repetitious words and phrases to epshasize his point and give the words of his novel a certian tone.  The tone given off by this style is an uplifting, spitirtual, preaching tone which gives more meaning to the lessons learned from the book. 
page 3 "To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. The plows crossed and recrossed the rivulet marks. The last rains lifted the corn quickly and scattered weed colonies and grass along the sides of the roads so that the gray country and the dark red country began to disappear under a green cover. In the last part of May the sky grew pale and the clouds that had hung in high puffs for so long in the spring dissipated. The sun flared down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet. The clouds appeared, and went away, and in a while they did not try any more. The weeds grew darker to protect themselves, and they did not spread any more. The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth became pale, pink in the red country and white in the gray country."
note the repeition in the highlighted words and phrases.  Also note the passage comes full circle in its descriptions.
ALLITERATIONS: Alliterations are repititions in either consonant sounds or vowel sounds within a passage. These like parallel structure are used to set the tone of the novel.
Page 556 "The cars move to the cotton fields.  the cotton camps set up.  The screened high trucks and trailers are piled  high with white fluff.  Cotton clings to  the fence wires, and cotton rolls in little balls along the road when the wind blows. And clean white cotton going to the gin. And the big lumpy bales standing going to the compress.  And cotton clinging to your clothes and stuck to your wiskers.  Blow your nose there is cotton in your nose."
highlighted letters suggest alleterations of consonant sounds within the passage
IMAGERY: Stienbeck uses images and description to help develope the novel...the above passage from page 3 exemplifies the detailed imagery withing the novel.