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The Grapes of Wrath Allusion-Oversoul
Moral and Anagogical
The Philosophical Joads
Steinbeck and Nature's Self
Moral and Anagogical
Literary elements




The morality behind the allusion to the Oversoul is the belief that all of mankind is united into one big, Universal Soul, and the spirit that surrounds the soul, tightens it together.

In order, for the farmers to receive recognition socially and economically, each individual farmer needed to join together and become a unified spirit. As a unified spirit, the power of the farmers was greater and more influential than any strong, outspoken individual.
The shell of a land turtle symbolizes the morality of the oversoul by the fact that each plate on the turtle's shell needs to unify in order to work together. Each plate will lose a certain part of their individuality, but will become individuals as they work collectively. They ultimately become the Universal, collective OverSoul. As this universal oversoul or shell, there is a power or spirit that allows everyone to overcome any obstacle, and like the land turtle, its shell is the spirit that protects him and allows him the ability to walk from one area to the next.

pg 606- The stout woman smiled. "No need to thank. Ever'body 's in the same wagon. S'pose we was down. You'd a give us a han'.'  "Yes," Ma said, "we would."..."Or anybody. Use' ta be the fambly was fust. It ain't so now. It's anybody. Worse off we get, the more we got to do." A hand symbolizes the giving of a helping hand to any person that is in need. The hand is the connection of all the people to one another. The connection had first only been drawn as the family becoming the unit, but now the unit has grown to include all members of society. The spirit is growing among the people.

pg 142-"And then, all of a sudden, the family began to function. Pa got up and lighted another lantern. Noah,from a box in the kitchen, brought out the bow-bladed butchering knife and whetted it on a worn little carborundum stone. And he laid the scraper on the chopping block, and the knife beside it. Pa brought two sturdy sticks, each three feet long, and pointed the ends with the ax, and he tied strong ropes, double half-hitched, to the middle of the sticks." This is the instance in the novel where we see the spirit of the group coming together for the first time. Each member of the family has his/her job but when they combine their abilities and work as a unit, a greater good is accomplished for the group.