The losses during the conflict are huge and numerous. A home is lost, family members die or run away, and all of the time everyone is on the brink of starvation.
To start with, the family loses its farm (Steinbeck 62). It loses more than just a place to live, but also the place where their parents lived and their children were born. That is a hard thing for a family to go through, even without the added stress of worrying where they are going to go.
Very soon after leaving, at the end of their first day in fact, the grandfather dies of a stroke (Steinbeck 120). The family not only loses its home, but also the head of their family in the same day. He may not have been the one to really make the decisions, but he was the one who held the final word on family decisions. Shortly after, their grandmother loses her mind and dies in California (Steinbeck 194). The last death in the book is Rose of Sharon’s baby (Steinbeck 365). It is really sad that after worrying so much about her baby and trying hard to make sure it was healthy it did not survive.
As soon as they arrive in California members of the family start leaving. Noah leaves before the family tries to drive across a desert (Steinbeck 178). Connie leaves only a little after arriving in the part of California the family is going to work in (Steinbeck 229). The family loses two of its members by them simply walking away almost as soon as they get there. Later, Tom has to leave because he kills another man (Steinbeck 343). Tom is one of the strongest members of the family, and when he has to go away the family is losing one of the few people that hold it together.
During the story, the family loses so many people. It is truly depressing to read about a family being torn apart, and the conflict is mostly loss throughout the entire book.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.