Literary Analysis: The Grapes Of Wrath

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Intercalary Chapter Literary Analysis During the Great Depression, the nation as a whole was stripped of financial security and forced into a survivalist way of living. This changed the ways that people interacted with one another and the overall mentality of society. In the Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family is torn from their land and find themselves with nothing, a common story for migrant farmers of that time, derogatorily called “Okies” by Californians. But this is not the only group that is struggling, the entire county was in a state of panic and bruteness, no matter how “well off” they seemed to be. This caused the formation …show more content…

Along the road the Joad family has to put aside their innate humanness in order to survive and make it to California. Mae and the other diners actions support the idea that the migrants are misunderstood by those who are not struggling in the same manner. Mae labels the people coming into the diner, not truly understanding any of them, and notes how the rich are just as unhappy as the poor migrants. According to Mae, “..the worried eyes are never calm, and the pouting mouth is never glad...An’ the bigger the care they got, the more they steal-towels,silver,soap dishes.I can’t figger it.”(156) In this quote Mae is describing the upper class people that enter her diner, saying they steal and are anxious. This shows how the rich people are so blind to what's actually going on in the country but they too believe they are desperate and suffering, refusing to be comfortable. They are unhappy but unlike the migrants, they have no reason to be. The constant need to steal from …show more content…

In Chapter 15 the description of the rich diner guests includes that “ In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is;that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more.” (155)This quote shows how those wealthy people choose to believe that they are not doing harm to those less fortunate in an attempt to soothe their rampant anxiousness. The rich people in this novel are repeatedly using their power in order to ensure their own financial/social security and through this they are beating down the migrant people. This is shown near the beginning of the novel as the migrant families are forced off their land. In Chapter 5 the owner men say “ And the owner men explained the workings and the thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. A man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that. Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and and he has to borrow money from the bank. But-you see, a bank or company can’t do that,

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