Holy

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"I got thinkin' how we was holy when we was one thing, an' mankin' was holy when it was one thing. An' it on'y got unholy when one mis'able little fella got the bit in his teeth an' run off his own way, kickin' an' draggin' an' fightin'. Fella like that bust the holi-ness. But when they're all workin' together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang--that's right, that's holy."

This quote can demonstrate the "wholeness" of the family.  They are a determined group of people who want to make the best of their lives.  They want to help fellow workers and offer them their services and food, or anything they can to help them out.  Ma Joad strongly believes it is important for their family to stay together and they can be "holy" as one.  From the above quote, they know when alone, it is not as holy.  If the family works together as one they will be successful.  You could say that success is this families American Dream.  They have a goal they want  to work towards and need to stick together to accomplish the task.  It is important for them to be a united family and they all need to be there for each other so that they can achieve their goals and dreams.  In a way it's like the turtle at the beginning of the story.  You have to keep trying to succeed.  You might fail a few times, but failure is the way to success.

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2 Comments

Alicia Campbell said:

This passage also stood out for me. I believe it was in my philosophy class that I learned one definition of evil: When a part takes itself to be the whole, apart from the whole. This is definitely not the case with the Joads. Each member is selfless and unassuming when it comes to family matters. This passage is also ironic. Casy has a non-traditional definition of holy that the Joads seem to fit. They are rough around the edges and offensive at times, but there is something to be said about the way they tend to the needs of their family members and others, such as Casy and Muley.

Nikita McClellan said:

I find what you are pointing out to be very interesting especially about the American Dream. Throughout this book I have been trying to keep in mind what their definition of the American Dream could possibly be I think you have most definitely found it. It makes me wonder to what great measures will they all go to get this great dream of their and how many other people will be there in the pursuit as well?

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