The Grapes of Wrath Literary Conflict Analysis

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Literary Conflict in The Grapes of Wrath

Example



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Activity Overview


Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflict. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the Storyboard Creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.


Examples of Literary Conflict from The Grapes of Wrath

MAN vs. MAN

The locals feel threatened by the sudden wave of migrants coming into their communities. When the Joads leave the Hooverville camp, they are confronted by an angry crowd of men who swarm the truck. The men force the Joads to turn around, telling them, “We ain't gonna have no goddamn Okies in this town.”


MAN vs. SELF

Tommy doesn’t feel particularly bad about the murder he committed, because it was done in self-defense. However, he doesn’t really feel like he fits in either. His family has been uprooted, and now they’ve arrived in another part of the country where there is no work or opportunities for them. He wishes that he could do more to help his family. Tommy finally finds his calling after Casy’s death, but it takes him a lot of internal struggling to arrive at this conclusion.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

Tommy Joad decides to stand up for the migrant workers, even in the face of the wealthy farmers who are actively working to take advantage of them. The communities of California try to control this influx of migrant workers by calling those who demand fair wages, “communists”. In reality, they are just trying to call attention to the criminal practices of the wealthy farmers, and fight for a wage that will support their families.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in The Grapes of Wrath.


  1. Identify conflicts in The Grapes of Wrath.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Literary Conflict Template

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