In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck the focus is on the plight of the poor families during the dust bowl days. It shows how the concept of the family enlarged during this period of crisis. Steinbeck tells this story using the Joad family's trials and challenges.
At the end of the book, the Joad family has been torn apart. The authority of the father was replaced with the leadership of Mrs. Joad and she, in turn, had her authority taken away by the younger generation. This turn of affairs leads to a different understanding of what it means to be a family They established bonds of kinship with other migrant families.
The Joads merge with the Wainrights and Wilsons because each family needs the other. The members do not share last names but they give support and sustenance to each in the form of food, blankets and a kind word.
Jesus redefined the concept of family by saying "Whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50)
How do you define family? What does it mean to be part of the family of God?