Communism In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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John Steinbeck was a brilliant yet controversial writer whom was genuinely curious in the hope of an improved form of government and society. He was believed to be a communist at a time when many American citizens were still fearful of a communist takeover. His novel Grapes of Wrath is a superb example of literature written through the eyes of a Marxist characterized by a focus on disproportionate economic power, materialism versus spirituality, and the class conflict experienced by those suffering throughout the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. The entirety of Grapes of Wrath is acutely concentrated on the aspect of economic disparity and its resulting effects. Everyone in the story is substantially affected by this difference and it is shown…show more content…
There is a combination of these two forces, where there is an understanding and care for one another, but a fear of what others will do for themselves and a resulting goal of wealth. As is the case with Al and Mae. Al yells at Mae for giving a traveler a hard time and says “Goddamn it, Mae. Give ‘em the loaf.” (205) thus giving off the appearance of generosity before revealing that he gets his money back by ensuring he always wins the jackpot off the slot machine. This is not necessarily not caring but he understands that only the wealthy will play machine and therefore is not stealing any possible wealth from the poor. Contrarily Mae is visibly distrustful of the travelers but instinctively wants to care for them. She hounds the guy but when she sees his boys it’s different. “They went immediately to the candy case and stared in-not with craving or with hope or even with desire, but just with a kind of wonder that such things could be.” (205) She sees what these boys are missing out on and goes out of her way to charge almost nothing for the candy. Generosity is a tricky ideal to carry out when the world is full of selfish crooks. It is invaluably important for people to have the desire to help everyone around them. But to go along with that desire everyone needs to have an understanding of how and when they are truly helping or just allowing
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