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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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Allusion

Examples of the phalanx in the Grapes of Wrath.

The allusion of the phalanx is demmonstrated when the Joad family enters the Weedpatch Camp and are comfronted by the different committees.  Ma is confronted by the  Ladies' Committee who promise her that they will protect her and her fmaily and provide for them. 

The allusion of the phalanx is demmonstrate throughout the book.  However, the Joad family, the main phalanx of the story, begins to fall apart after Tom leaves.  "You got to go away, Tom".  Ma says this to Tom on page 569 after Ruthie told people about his having killed two men already.  Ma had fought so hard to keep the family together even though Connie and Noah left.  By having her tell Tom to leave, Steinbeck is slowly disolving the phalanx of the Joad family. 



The phalanx during the ancient world was a military formation used to protect the soldiers by forming a case of shields and spears.  The turtld connects to the phalanx because the designs or panels on a turtle's shell resemble the formation of the phalanx.  A phalnax is also a group of people who rely on each other to survive.  The Joad family is a prime example of this because they are rarely apart and fight so hard to stay together up until a certain point.  Stienbeck uses the phalanx as a model for the closeness of the families in his stories. 

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