Big Business In John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath

845 Words4 Pages
During the time of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression many small farmers lost their farms due to poor farmer conditions. Those who managed to continue to produce a crop yield eventually lost their farms due to the failing economy. This harsh time is highlighted in John Steinbeck’s classic novel, Grapes of Wrath. During one of Steinbeck’s intercalary chapters, chapter 14, Steinbeck uses pathos, a metaphor, and short syntax to show that big business, especially in the agricultural industry, is the root of the hardships faced by small farmers and migrant workers. Steinbeck uses a different form of pathos to draw his readers and make it so that the audience can understand the severity of the suffering that the migrant families are facing. In order to help intensify his writing Steinbeck does not explicitly draw on…show more content…
While referencing big business in the West he begins using first person towards the audience saying “you might yourself”, “you could know”, and “you might survive”. Steinbeck makes this move to make the audience apart of the story rather than just leaving them as readers. Though instead of using pathos to help the readers feel the suffering that the migrant families are feeling; he makes it so that the audience becomes the big businesses by addressing the readers in first person. By writing the last half of the chapter in this manner Steinbeck is showing the selfishness and cruelty that dwells within these businesses. By saying that “you might preserve yourself” Steinbeck makes the readers feel the selfishness of big business. This in turn evokes a feeling of empathy toward the suffering families because by putting the audience in the position of the big business allows them to see “their own” wrong doings even though the audience has not actually
Open Document