Cultural Borders In The Grapes Of Wrath

Powerful Essays
Cultural Borders
There are many types of borders, and these borders separate the people of the world. Cultural borders separate peoples’ way of life. In the books The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle, and Night by Elie Wiesel, borders divide the characters and cause cultural separation between people. Cultural borders are created by ignorance, fear and misunderstandings.
Ignorance causes people to make assumptions because they are unknowledgeable of the truth. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, not knowing the situations of the Okies, and not understanding it, causes hate between the migrants and the residents of California. The Californians say, “Look how they live. Think any of us folks’d live like
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Hell, no!” (Steinbeck 236). This quote shows how these men do not know that the migrants have no choice but to live the way they do, that they were forced from their homes and live on the roads, with no work and no food. The Californians have made an assumption. Assumptions are based on little truth. A character named Jack in The Tortilla Curtain says “No education. No resources, no skills...” (Boyle 101). This shows how Jack assumes that all illegal immigrants have no education or skills, and this is far from the truth. By assuming that all illegal immigrants are the same low class with little education, Jack creates a wedge between himself and his race and the immigrants. Furthermore, ignorance of the other culture comes from both sides, not just the group of people that seems to be the enemy, or “in the wrong”. For example, the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath truly believe that the California farm owners have everything and perfect lives, and that they pay their workers so little
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