From the story, I can tell that the author values family and people’s relationships. I can also tell that the author has a very pro-union attitude.
The entire story is about a family trying to stick together and survive during the Great Depression. If the author did not value family, he would not have made the family trying to stick together such a huge part of the story. The mother does everything she possibly can to keep Tom from leaving, even after he kills someone and has to hide (Steinbeck 330). The family is willing to risk Tom getting caught just so they can have a chance to stay together. When Ruthie tells about Tom and Tom has to leave, the mother still makes Tom promise to come back once people forget about the murder (Steinbeck 345). Staying together is such a big priority for the family that is must be valued by the author that created them.
The author also values other non-family relationships. When the mom and Tom are talking near the end of the book, Tom talks about how Casy thought people just have little pieces of one big soul (Steinbeck 344). That sort of implies that everyone is important to everyone else. After all, sharing a soul is a little personal. I am not a fan of collectivism in any way, but I can tell that the author is because of how he writes about it.
Describing how I know the author has a pro-union attitude is pretty easy. When an author has his main character go off to try starting a union, you can tell that the author thinks unions are very important and a good idea. Tom goes off to try bringing people together when he has to leave his family, and after that the author does not write any more about him (Steinbeck 345). Ending Tom’s part of the story like that, when Tom was pretty much the main character, is pretty significant.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.