Al is one of the most important characters in the book because he drives the family all of the way to California, and then around in the state. His family would have had no way to go out in search for work around the state without him. Besides that, he has a rather interesting character as well, including a respect for his brother, and love of girls in general.
When Al come back from his skirt chasing and sees his brother, the first thing he does is mimic his brother’s attitude (Steinbeck 75). He does not even realize it, but because he has so much respect for his older brother he tries to act like him as much as possible. Whenever something goes wrong with the car, he wants to make sure very much that Tom does not think it is his fault, like when the Wilson’s car breaks down on the way to California (Steinbeck 143).
When Al comes home before the family leaves for California, he had come back from chasing girls, and his father says that he is quite the lady’s man (Steinbeck 73). That makes sense, because the first thing he does at the dance in the government camp is flirting with a girl (Steinbeck 279). He has serious thought about the girl too, because when he leaves he promises to come back for her (Steinbeck 295). Maybe he is just saying that because he wants to believe it, and maybe he is saying it because he wants to make the girl happy. Either way, he said he would marry her. Later, when he makes a real decision to get married, he refuses to leave his fiancé, unlike with the first girl (Steinbeck 358). He mush genuinely care about Aggie, or else he would not be willing to leave his family.
Al respects his brother and loves women. He is an interesting character, and an important one as well. Because of him, the family has someone to take care of the car and another person to help look for work.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.