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Phalanx Allusions in The Grapes of Wrath
Vocabulary | Theme | Literary Elements | Allusion | Symbolic and Allegorical | Moral and Anagogical

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Literary Elements

Steinbeck's Style in Presenting the Phalanx Allusions

Imagery: "A woman in front of the tent screamed and looked at a hand which had no knuckles.  The fingers hung on strings against her palm, and the torn flesh was white and bloodless (361)."  Steinbeck uses imagery to create a picture of the importance of the phalanx, which is symbolized by the hand, and the fact that when the phalanx is broken, the migrant workers could not be successful and overcome their trials. 

On page 514 Stienbeck uses the image of a tortoise-shell cat to show the phalanx.  The cat is a symbol of the unity between the people because it appears after the man at the store gives Ma ten cents of sugar out of his own pocket.  It shows how people who are going through the same thing must take care of each other.  This is an example of Steinbeck using imagery to portray the phalanx. 



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