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

Oversoul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other." - R.W. Emerson


    Man is the soul of the whole in which every part and particle is equally related. According to Emerson it is the "Eternal One." This deep power in which we exist is not only self-sufficing, but also where the subject and the object are one. It is the essential unity of the universe that is the Absolute or Universal Truth. Emerson describes this One as infusing all life and forming the nature of human nature. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but as a  whole they are the soul. The soul of man is not an organ, but exercises all organs, and is the light and background of our being. The soul of man represents himself through his actions, and gives him his intelligence, virtues, and emotions.
    The primary teaching of the soul is working as a unit. When the man is unified, thought as a result, is unified too. Also each heart beats with a nobler sense of power and duty. They are also conscious of attaining to a higher self-possession(higher consciousness).
    The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. When truth is universal among men, theimage of the soul will be whole. According to Emanuel Swedenborg, "It is no proof of a man's understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence."        
    While Emerson often focuses on and describes nature and its elements throughout his works, he emphasizes that language is incapable of completely expressing nature's beauty. The power and beauty of nature are beyond explanation; words alone are not sufficient in capturing what can only be purely realized through personal observation. One should experience nature directly and not rely on the limitations of another's verbal description to convey what nature so effortlessly offers at all times.
    Despite the limitations of language, Emerson believes that it is the poet who is the best observer of nature and natural experiences. The poet is "he whose eye can integrate all the parts" 
    The nature of revelations is to perceive absolute or universal law. Revelations are also essential to human experience. If it were not, then all religious faith would be dependent upon the past, as reported in the sacred texts and passed down from one cultural group to another, and therefore essential vitality would be lost forever. This kind of secondary transmission would mean that all revelation was in need of a necessity collective form, referring to people and not to individuals.
    Emerson frequently refers to the endless, circular connection of man, nature, and the universe, where no aspect of which can be isolated or divided from the greater whole. Through all things there is a constant flow and interrelationship called the Oversoul.
pg 264-265-"In the evening, sitting about the fires, the twenty were one. They grew to be units of the camps, units of the evenings and the nights."   The evening represents nature, and that through the aspect of nature, the separate units of families came together as one.
pg 267-"Thus they changed their social life-changed as in the whole universe only man can change. They were not farm men any more, but migrant men. And the thought, the planning, the long staring silence that had gone out to the fields, went now to the roads, to the distance, to the West."    The ability for change and to keep constant planning represents universal thought among the migrant men. AcademicDepartments/EnglishHumanities/sugarman.html