Its representation and significance in literary texts

The texts used are: Grapes of Wrath; Another Country; The Colour Purple.

Before the texts can be discussed in relation to what they suggest about identity, it is necessary to establish how texts create a sense of a distinct person. The term must also be distinguished from what is meant by character or characterisation.

Regarding how the subject will be dealt with in the analysis of the texts, the aim is to show the ways identity is established in the texts, or the means by which changes in identity are represented. In defining the word identity, fundamentally it is the sense one has of oneself, or of someone else, being a distinct person. For instance one might know oneself as Helen instead of Joyce, or George instead of Stan.1 Character is defined as:

‘The collective qualities or characteristics, especially mental and moral that distinguish a person or thing; moral strength (has a weak character); reputation, especially good reputation; a person in a novel, play, etc.’2

So in looking at how identity is represented, we have to consider how we arrive at a sense of a particular and distinct person in the text, rather than considering the list of personal characteristics. Nevertheless, the two things do link, and we arrive at a sense of meeting a character partly through the description of personal characteristics given. For instance in The Color Purple, some of the first words are:

‘I am fourteen years old. I have always been a good girl.’3

Through the use of the word ‘I’ in both sentences we are immediately given an impression of a particular person speaking. Because the book is written in the form of letters to God, or to a sister, this address does not have the full impact it might if we were addressed directly. In fact this device, one which makes us feel as if we have suddenly looked through a door into a person’s private life, creates a slight tension. That the person isn’t named or described by a narrator or themselves heightens this.

Nevertheless we still feel a very personal address is being given, and immediately have the sense of a specific person. Also, the letter has been addressed to God, and we are reading it. Does that subtly place us in a role of deity? Certainly we unconsciously read the letters from the viewpoint of a white or black skinned person.

Later in the text the same character, who still hasn’t been given a name, says:

I keep hoping he fine somebody to marry. I see him looking at my little sister. She scared. But I say I’ll take care of you. With God help.4

The difference between the two quotes is that in the first, we have the impression of a person, unnamed, describing something about herself. We do not know if the information is correct, but we do arrive at a feeling of a particular person. In the second sentence there is something quite different. We are told of this still unnamed person’s response to another person who is also unnamed, but who is described as ‘my little sister’. So character one, who we later learn is Celie, is describing a response to a situation regarding another person, who we learn is Nettie. The stated desire to protect her young sister from sexual abuse builds for us the image of a distinct person. It does this because we know there are many alternative responses to this situation. That Celie attempts to, and later manages to, protect her sister, builds for the reader the sense of special strength, of singular characteristics. Out of this we have the impression we are meeting or learning about a specific person distinct from any other person. The sense of a specific identity we arrive at as a reader has a certain type of reality for us. Characters in literature may have as profound an influence on some people as anyone living they know. Therefore identity can be communicated not only by the language used, such as ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘you’, but also by described events or responses in relationship to characters or to the world of the novel.

Looking in Baldwin’s Another Country for such primary means of producing a sense of identity for the reader, quite another approach is apparent. The approach is slower, more indirect. The following quote illustrates this:

It was past midnight and he had been sitting in the movies, in the top row of the balcony, since two o’clock in the afternoon. … twice he had been awakened by caterpillar fingers between his thighs. … – but he had growled in his sleep and bared the white teeth in his dark face.5

Although there is a lot of information to be gleaned from this piece of text – such as a mood which had kept the character asleep in a cinema and the rejected sexual approaches – it does not immediately present us with a communicating character as with Celie. Who is ‘he’? In the first pages of Another Country one has to gradually build up a sense of who the character is, and what is unique about him. The mention of ‘his dark face’ for instance is ambiguous. Later we learn Rufus is a black American, but ‘dark face’ could mean he is black skinned, or it could suggest ‘dark’ in the sense of evil, sinister, sullen, angry – such as a dark mood – or little known and mysterious.

Other sentences in Another Country, such as the following, while naming a character, still does not pinpoint an identity in the way suggested earlier:

Beneath them Rufus walked, one of the fallen – for the weight of the city was murderous – one of those who had been crushed on the day, which was every day, these towers fell.6

Here, although the character is now named, and we learn that he is crushed by his culture, his life in the city, and his social relationship, there is still not a powerful connection with the character as a unique identity. It means that we have to work hard, or exercise patience to become acquainted with Rufus in the text in the way one became quickly intimate with a sense of Celie. In fact, whether on purpose or not, the text arouses a lot of questions that are only slowly answered:

He remembered Leona. Or a sudden, cold, familiar sickness filled him and he knew he was remembering Leona.7

This is page sixteen and Rufus is still mysterious – and who is Leona? It is not until page nineteen that she is revealed in any detail and given some body as a character. Therefore this approach to arousing a sense of identity in the reader is quite different. What in fact it does is to largely obscure identity, ore even suggest that identity is at a low ebb or missing.

Steinbeck in Grapes of Wrath has another approach completely. The main character, Tom, doesn’t speak to the reader directly as does Celie, but a detailed physical description is given, building up a picture of a particular type of body and a person expressing through it:

He was not over thirty. His eyes were very dark brown and there was a hint of brown pigment in his eyeballs. His cheekbones were high and wide … His upper lip was long … His hands were hard, with broad fingers and nails as thick and ridged as little clam shells … and the hams of his hands were shiny with callus.8

This detailed physical description follows immediately after Tom is first mentioned in the text. It produces an impression of real physical presence, and a subjective image to build on. In Another Country there is no physical description of Rufus even thirty pages in. As readers we have to create our own image of his appearance. Nevertheless a sense of Rufus’s identity emerges, and is created by the gradually revealed personal responses and exchanges. The identity we form is of course shaped, perhaps manipulated, by the manner in which he, Rufus, is presented to us via the text. It is an identity which from a place of contact and light, has sunk down into the shadows and the margins of society.

Steinbeck, however, as with his early physical description, uses the technique of personal exchange very early in presenting the character of Tom:

The driver looked quickly back at the restaurant for a second. ‘Didn’t you see the No Riders sticker on the win’shield?’

‘Sure – I seen it. But sometimes a guy’ll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker.’9

The two characters are deeply defined by this short and simple exchange. The driver for instance is shown as hesitant by his looking back at the restaurant. He seeks authority by referring to the sticker rather than making a statement of his own will such as ‘No, I don’t take riders!’ Tom, on the other hand, shows no hesitancy at all. There is no subservience, no pleading. Instead there is a bold and challenging statement and suggestion from which the driver doesn’t extricate himself. Such remarks, that are extended in the following paragraphs, present Tom as someone who, although having spent some years in prison, has not been made artful or cowed by the experience. This is made more evident by placing Tom up against the character of the truck driver, who is artful or devious, and who responds in a defensive way to Tom. This type of delineation of character is often achieved in Grapes of Wrath by a mixture of conversational interaction and by the narrator’s remarks, as in the following piece:

His eyes (the driver) began at the new cap, moved down the new clothes to the new shoes. The hitch-hiker squirmed his back against the seat in comfort, took off his new cap and swabbed his sweating forehead with it. ‘Thanks, buddy,’ he said. ‘My dogs was pooped out.’

‘New shoes,’ said the driver. His voice had the same quality of secrecy and insinuation his eyes had. ‘You oughtn’ to take no walk in new shoes – hot weather.’

With a very few words, Steinbeck here manages to use several techniques at once. Not only are the two characters acting as a sort of comparison to make each other’s personal traits more visible, their conversation also gives the impression of flowing out of very different subjective attitudes. At the same time the narrator inserts descriptive pieces, making sure the reader does not miss the cues. Even the negative statement of the driver – ‘you oughtn’ to’ – is a part of the comparison. It stands against Tom’s positive ‘Thanks buddy …’ suggesting entirely different temperaments. The overall scene also implies that Tom is capable of exerting his own self-assertiveness to get what he wants from someone who is only ready to cooperate when coercion is used.

The fascinating aspect of such pieces of text is that they help form an illusion that is very convincing. After all, a personal sense of identity is a very amorphous yet real thing. When we view other people we also have some sense of them experiencing their own identity, and of ourselves meeting or confronting it. Similarly, reading about Tom and the driver, we have an impression of meeting two definite and distinct people.

Although the characters in The Color Purple are also means of making apparent the different dimensions of each other’s personality, the technique to achieve this is quite different. Because everything is written in the first person with just two narrators, as a reader we are only reading these two viewpoints. Nevertheless, the impression of various identities, or shifts in what we perceive of identity, is still achieved. Celie, describing her relationship with Shug, writes:

Me and Shug sound asleep. Her back to me, my arms round her waist. … It warm and cushiony, and I feel Shug’s big tits sorta flop over my arms like suds. It feel like heaven is what it feel like, not like sleeping with Mr. ______ at all.10

This is a very different Celie to the one who relates to Mr. ______ , her husband. Because of the character Shug is presented as being, Celie can be shown to explore aspects of herself that would not strike the reader as real in relationship with other characters. We can therefore accept the different aspect of Celie when she says to Shug about her sexuality with Mr. ____ :

Naw, I say. Mr. ____ can tell you, I don’t like it at all. What it is like? He git up on you, heist your nightgown round your waist, plunge in. Most times I pretend I ain’t there. He never know the difference. Never ast me how I feel, nothing. Just do his business, get off, go to sleep.11

The technique uses the apparent relationship between Celie and Shug to develop a conversation in which particular information can be presented. Even the question in the paragraph – ‘What is it like?’ – enables the answer to be given more fully. This is a device used often in this text. Overall it is very different to Steinbeck’s mixture of dialogue, narrator’s commentary, and character interactions. Here the dialogue does the whole work. Though as already mentioned, the dialogue can emerge because of the relationship between two characters.

However, this particular piece of dialogue does a lot more than describe an event. In terms of identity it graphically suggests what it is like to be Celie, and the attitudes Celie lives with. Celie is not crying, or in a certain sense, complaining. She is coolly responding to a question about a most intimate and deeply felt, even traumatic, part of her experience, as if she were talking about whether she liked rhubarb pies. If Celie were portrayed as crying or feeling angry the impression would be quite different and much less disturbing. As it is, we are given the image of a misery so long standing that Celie has stopped feeling anything. She has become passive and disconnected. This is emphasised by the text that immediately follows where Shug addresses Celie, saying:

She start to laugh. Do his business, she says. Do his business. Why, Miss Celie. You make it sound like he going to the toilet on you.

That what it feel like, I say.

She stop laughing.12

Because of this response, there is no need for a narrator to fill in the gaps by saying that Celie, underneath her calm exterior was hurting. In a sense, Celie is portrayed as saying it herself – ‘She stop laughing.’ Nevertheless, within such apparently simple language and interaction, a very powerful sense of Celie’s identity is communicated.

This definition by opposites is more than simply a way of showing a different facet of a character’s personality however. The twists and turns of the text in Another Country again and again use the different social or cultural background to highlight how, because of a character’s unique identity, the world the characters face in the novel not only appears different, but also responds to them differently. The reaction of the police and the public to seeing a white and black couple in the street for instance. An event illustrating this occurs when Cass goes to Eric as a lover. They are just getting acquainted and Eric tells her of his male lover, Yves, saying Yves hates his mother. Cass replies, ‘That’s not the usual pattern, is it?’ Eric replies that most street boys he met in Paris hated the police, as the police ‘liked to beat the shit out of them.’13 This creates an unusual response in Cass that shows the great divide in their subjective life:

It was strange how she now felt herself holding back – not from him but from such a vision of the world. … She had never had to deal with a policeman in her life, and it had never entered her mind to feel menaced by one.14

Just a few words, and yet the very different worlds, objective and subjective, between Eric and Cass are graphically illustrated. Without effort we have an impression of Cass’s identity as someone who is secure because of her relationship in marriage to a successful white male, who is straight sexually and socially, and who herself has never before stepped beyond those boundaries. Whereas Eric is shown as a homosexual male who, although white, does not have the status or background to feel so unaware of the power of the police.

So far the emphasis has been on examining how text may suggest unique identity, but some text is thought to present a more archetypal or stereotyped view of identity. This is particularly mentioned in feminist criticism. Nellie Y. McKay writes:

Critics identify two distinct narrative views of women in Steinbeck’s writings. In one, in novels such as To a God Unknown (1993), and The Grapes of Wrath (1939), the image is positive and one-dimensional, with female significance almost completely associated with the maternal roles that Kolodny and others decry. In the other, for example Tortilla Flat (1935), Of Mice and Men (1937), East of Eden (1952), … the portraiture is socially negative. Whores, hustlers, tramps, or madams are the outstanding roles that define the majority of these women.15

Words such as mother, whore, and tramp may be referring to a particular person, but they are also words referring to particular roles, or to stereotypical views of people. We might say of a woman, ‘She is a mother’ – or ‘She is a whore’. In either case we are defining a person’s role or status in a particular way. Of course, in different cultures or periods of history, the connotations of such definitions would be very different. Whether we apply this to motherhood or to any other typical role such as being a father, a son, a daughter or a boss, a simple word may be used to identify, or place some measure of identity on a character. So McKay’s argument could equally apply to words such as father, male-prostitute, or dropout. They also suggest the role of motherhood is one of little account, even though many cultures have seen motherhood as the highest possible human activity. The suggestion of motherhood as a negation of personal achievement or power is possible one linked very directly with capitalism, where power and personal achievement are measured in terms of ones ability to gain financial wealth.

Such words can also be seen simply as ready-made templates in which to place a character. In Another Country for instance we learn that Eric is a homosexual. Depending on who the reader is, and what their associations are with homosexuality, this immediately places on Eric the identity of a person who loves, feels easier with, and perhaps has sex with, another man or men. In the texts being considered however, such fundamental giving of identity achieved by using such words as mother or homosexual, are only foundations or templates upon which complexity is later built. As an example, Eric – the homosexual – becomes the lover of Cass – the wife and mother – in a mutually passionate heterosexual relationship.

Steinbeck perhaps uses what I have called templates, or what have been called stereotypical characters, more than the other two writers being considered. At least, his descriptive passages have this tendency. So, although The Grapes of Wrath uses the word ‘ma’ when referring to Mrs. Joad, we also read:

Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since Old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practised denying them in herself.16

This is a much quoted passage, and from a feminist critique presents the character of Ma Joad as someone who denies her own needs for those of her family. However, my argument is concerned with the representation of identity, not whether Ma Joad is male dominated. As in other pieces quoted from Grapes of Wrath, the delineation of character, and the suggestions to the reader of an underlying identity, is very full and graphic. To ‘mount pain and suffering’ and to achieve an overview of human life through it; to protect others and to care for their needs, sometimes by denying ones own, are qualities to be found in almost any man or woman who has achieved even a small measure of professional life or leadership. They are words sometimes applied to heroes and eheroines. The passage stamps us with the full maturity and strength of Ma Joad. It communicates a sense of leadership and power to deal with many and varied life experiences that the later descriptions of Ma Joad expand and unfold.

Stereotypical statements do something other than give a ready-made description. In a certain way they are also like the opposite characters used to accentuate identity traits. In Another Country, black skin and white skin is mentioned throughout the book.

This is a form of ready-made information that links with the reader’s in-built associations with race or skin colour. The same is true of The Grapes of Wrath where motherhood and fatherhood are used as ready-made templates. Such terms produce a sense of order, probably because as a reader one meets something that is felt to be known. They also save a lot of need for description. We know what a black skin is, and we know what a white skin is. We know what a mother and a father is, or a brother or a sister. This is reasonably obvious, but it is mentioned because in most pieces of text such ready-made terms, such apparently knowable pieces of information contrast with the obscure and little defined. Baldwin, in Another Country, particularly explores the opposite of the known:

And something in him was breaking; he was, briefly and horribly, in a region where there were no definitions of any kind, neither of color, nor of male and female. There was only the leap and the rending and the terror and the surrender.17

This vivid description goes beyond the usual concept of identity as a sense of something definite – I am a woman; I am a man; I am a mother; I am a father; I am white; I am black; I am no good; I am wanted. It is a description of a feeling Vivaldo meets in his uncertainty about his relationship with Ida. It presents identity as something that in the end has no defined boundaries. It suggests that events have stripped away from Vivaldo the comfort of believing himself as someone definite and clear-cut. It takes us, the readers, to somewhere beyond the stability we might long for in a character or in ourselves.

Another Country frequently presents us with this view over the edge – over the edge of personal control inside oneself – over the edge of control in a relationship – over the edge of firm convictions of who one is. As an image this is presented clearly in the text:

Vivaldo took another large drag and squatted on the edge of the roof, his arms hugging his knees.

‘Don’t do that, man,’ Lorenzo whispered, ‘you’re too near the edge, I can’t bear to watch it.’18

Here the metaphor provided by the roof edge not only says how dangerous and frightening this edge of identity is, but perhaps what a different or wider view it gives. But this unknown is presented in other ways too. In The Grapes of Wrath there is a scene which simply describes events and leaves a void for us to fill as to what it means. Tom has just arrived home and Ma recognises him:

‘She moved toward him lithely, soundlessly in her bare feet, and her face was full of wonder. Her small hand felt his arm, felt the soundness of his muscles. And then her fingers went up to his cheek as a blind man’s fingers might. And her joy was nearly like sorrow. Tom pulled his underlip between his teeth and bit it. Her eyes went wonderingly to his bitten lip, and she saw the little line of blood against his teeth and the trickle of blood down his lip. Then she knew, and her control came back, and her hand dropped. … ‘Well!’ she cried. ‘We come mighty near to goin’ without ya.’

Apart from saying ‘her joy was nearly like sorrow’, there is little description of what is going on other than the movements and observations. Nevertheless we as readers are given the impression of intense emotions for both Ma and Tom, and a sense of a whole background of enormously understated love, contact, and family attitudes between them, feelings and attitudes that are never exteriorised in speech but are known by both. The text makes these hidden parts of the characters more real by not describing them. Strangely, the non-description presents a more powerful feeling of meeting two real identities than if many words of description had been used.

Although there are many attempts at describing the hidden and sometimes dark side of human nature in Another Country, it is in The Grapes of Wrath that one finds several passages that open the hidden with little other than the stating of an event. The scene of the dying man at the end of the book is witness to this:

Ma’s eyes passed Rose of Sharon’s eyes, and then came back to them. And the two women looked deep into each other. The girl’s breath came short and gasping.

She said: ‘Yes.’

… She moved closer to the corner and looked down at the wasted face, into the wide, frightened eyes. Then slowly she lay down beside him. … Rose of Sharon loosened one side of the blanket and bared her breast. ‘You got to,’ she said. She squirmed closer and pulled his head close. ‘There!’ she said. ‘There.’19

The area of the unspoken in this passage is enormous. Even a simple thing like the image of the sick man feeding from Rose of Sharon’s breast is left to ones own internal imagery and fantasy. But the huge area of the unspoken that can work for ages in ones own response to the text is what it says about the identity of the two women involved. In itself it doesn’t, of course, say anything. There is not a word of description trying to coerce us to think of Ma or Rose in a particular way – yet we do.

The stereotypical term such as ‘black’ or ‘mother’, and the ‘hidden’ that is revealed by such actions as that quoted above, both conspire to represent yet another aspect of identity. It is the aspect of identity that can be called cultural, racial, or sociological. For instance, without specific information to say that Rufus is black, it would be difficult from many of the things described in the novel, to arrive at a positive feeling that we definitely knew his racial identity. When Rufus speaks words like: ‘I’ve been working uptown. You promised to come and hear me. Remember?’20 There is no sense of any particular racial type or skin colour. A little of such ‘colouring’ is added however, when he says: ‘Nobody ever has to take up a collection to bury managers or agents,’ Rufus said. ‘But they sweeping musicians up off the streets every day.’21

The difference is effected by simply removing ‘they are’ and replacing it with ‘they’. This shift in speech pattern is very mildly used in Another Country. Nevertheless it does manage to give some impression of a black identity or s light difference in culture or social background. With The Color Purple however, the use of very obvious speech mannerisms are used throughout. We therefore read things like:

Wonder if she still mad Sofia knock her teef out? I ast.

Yeah, she mad. But what good being mad gon do? She not evil, she know Sofia life hard to bear right now.22

Such language gives a very powerful impression of racial identity, which builds up and establishes itself as the novel proceeds. Barbara Christian writes of this:

Walker demonstrates the richness of this language (black English contrasted with standard English) by contrasting it with the staid standard English of Nettie’s sections so that we can see how blacks have transformed a language not originally theirs into a unique version of English.23

In The Grapes of Wrath shifts from standard English are also used as part of the characterisation. Thus we read Ma Joad saying: ‘I never had my fambly stuck out on the road. I never had to sell – ever’thing.’24

But the text does not rely simply on such verbal shifts to evoke a sense in the reader of knowing a person and their different cultural background in depth. The subjects talked about, the manner of talking about them, and personal interactions, as already described, also integrate to give this powerful sense of difference.

In summarising, certain important things have become apparent in examining the texts for ways in which identity is represented. Firstly, when we read a piece of text, even when a character is shown as talking or being present, all we have in front of us is text. If the text is in a foreign language we do not know, then it is completely meaningless except that we might recognise it as a form of writing. With text with which we have ready-made word associations, we have a subjective impression of things happening, of environment, and of particular characters who have unique identities being communicated. This amazing process of spontaneous imagination or experience is of course dependent upon the skilful use of certain techniques in the text. For instance our sense of relationship with a character in the text is shifted into a feeling of direct address when the character says ‘I’ or refers to us as a readers directly. We shift to observer when a character addresses someone else. Many other shifts are possible. In The Color Purple for instance, when the letters from Celie to God change to the letters from Nettie to Celie, an alteration occurs in our perception of who the identity is behind the letters. This may be due to the difference in language used as already pointed out. But in Ways of Reading an argument is put forward saying:

… an individual can be classified on the basis of some characteristic – race, ethnic group, gender, age, sexuality, size, skin color, disablement, etc.25

This is suggesting that a character is given identity – distinguishing characteristics – by a role. Ma Joad for instance appears as a unique person largely because of her role as mother and leader of her family. A feminist viewpoint might argue with this and say that in fact such a role of motherhood takes away a women’s unique identity. However, for the argument I am following, it seems evident that Ma Joad becomes clearer as a unique character because of the descriptions given of her as a mother. For example she is highly distinguishable from Pa Joad or from young Tom Joad.

Lastly, reading text implies a form of gestalt awareness.26 This is particularly so in regard to the text quoted where little is said, yet we feel so much, or associate so much more than the text itself says. Therefore, like the dots of newsprint photographs which we unconsciously put together to form a meaningful picture, we also form a sense of identity out of the many parts of the text that in themselves do not literally have in them any clear cut image or description. This forming of a whole from many parts is, in the end, one of the most powerful factors in the arriving at a sense of identity in regard to characters represented in text.


Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. The Women’s Press. London, 1992.

Barbara Christian. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Monarch Notes. Prentice Hall. USA. 1987. Concise Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press. On disk PC version.

David Wyatt. New Essays on the Grapes of Wrath. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 1990. Encyclopaedia Britannica on CD-ROM.

Infopedia UK Ltd. Hutchinson New Century Encyclopaedia on CD-ROM.

James Baldwin. Another Country. Penguin Books. London, 1990.

John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Minerva. London, 1995.

Ways of Reading. Martin Montgomery, Alan Durant, Nigel Fabb, Tom Furniss and Sarah Mills. Routledge. London. 1992.


1 a the quality or condition of being a specified person or thing. b individuality, personality (felt he had lost his identity). identification or the result of it (a case of mistaken identity; identity card). (Concise Oxford Dictionary. OUP) 2 Concise Oxford Dictionary. OUP. Search ‘character’.

3 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 3.

4 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 5.

5 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 13.

6 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 14.

7 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 16.

8 John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 5/6.

9 John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 8.

10 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 98.

11 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 68.

12 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 69.

13 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 285.

14 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 285.

15 Nellie McKay. ‘Happy[?] – Wife – and – Motherhood’: The Portrayal of Ma Joad in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In – David Wyatt. New Essays on the Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 52.

16 John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 83/84.

17 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 297.

18 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 305.

19 John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 535.

20 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 46.

21 James Baldwin. Another Country. Pg. 47.

22 Alice Walker. The Colour Purple. Pg. 85.

23 Barbara Christian. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Pg. 46.

24 John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath. Pg. 87.

25 Ways of Reading. Pg. 181.

26 Gestalt is here defined as – an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. a system maintaining that perceptions, reactions, etc., are gestalts.

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