Depression In John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat

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Gaining Everything, but Losing Yourself After I read Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck, it was clear to me that one of the major characters in the story suffered from depression, Danny. As a psychology major, the theme of mental illness often appears in my area of study. Depression is one of those mental illnesses that are quite common in the United States and it falls under the category of anxiety disorders (Facts and Statistics). Commonly, depression of any type is usually accompanied by anxiety and vice versa, being co-occurring disorders (Facts and Statistics). According to the American Psychological Association depression is defined as:
People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant
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Steinbeck wrote, “Danny began to feel the beating of time. He looked at his friends, and saw how with them every day was the same” (142). Steinbeck further describes the attitude of Danny writing, “Gradually sitting on the front porch, in the sun, Danny began to dream of the days of his freedom” (142). Danny was clearly becoming complacent in the ways of a Paisano with too much responsibility. He could only remember the freedom he felt before becoming the owner of houses and having the responsibility of making sure that house was there to shelter his friends. Danny was not able to enjoy life the way he used to, with freedom, before the burden of the house fell upon him; he wouldn’t fight, sleep in the woods, or didn’t “adventurously” drunk (Steinbeck 142). Danny’s friends began to become concerned about him as they saw him sitting on the porch in sort of a daze. They believed he could be sick. Danny then left his house and started on a tirade of drunkenness and thievery. His friends were looking for him and would always miss him right after he left they place they would be looking for him in. They began to hear rumors about Danny’s heavy drinking, fight starting, and getting thrown in jail. When Danny finally stopped and calmed down he became very motionless in his life. He would get up from bed and just sit on his porch all day long only getting up to…show more content…
My interpretation of the poem is that a man lived so long in a certain place, Manhattan, and now has to leave because of what looks like a money issue or a personal issue with the landlord. The poem goes onto to describe how he will be moving away and taking his things with him, but he won’t be able to take what will stay there, in the poem is referred to as the view of the place. In “Blues”, Brodsky writes the last line of every verse explaining how money looks, but there is more to it. The last line of each verse Brodsky writes, “Money is green, but it flows like blood”, “money is green, but it doesn’t grow”, “money is green but it makes you blue”, “money is green, and I am gray” (122). To me this suggests that the man had no love for money and there are more important things in life, but unfortunately, it is a part of life we have to deal with. It also suggests that money can be the root problem if one focuses on it too much. This is relatable to Danny, because he was losing himself to the responsibility of home ownership. Even though he did not become rich, his status was elevated and he felt those pressures that came along with it. The poem speaks of the importance of the view of the place the man was living; I equated that to how Danny and the Paisanos viewed friendships and helping others. These are things that money cannot change

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