Rhetorical Techniques Used In The Grapes Of Wrath

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American author, John Steinbeck, in an American realist novel titled “Grapes of Wrath” (1939), demonstrates how man gets stuck being controlled by a bigger power. Steinbeck supports his claim through the use of rhetorical strategies, such as, personification, repetition, and dialogue. Steinbeck's purpose is to demonstrate how man gets stuck in the relentless cycle of powerlessness. Steinbeck uses a desperate tone and old-fashioned language to appeal to the readers of the 20th century. Steinbeck begins by making the Bank come to life through personification. The Bank is not said to be a singular person, but rather a conglomeration of power . The men grow crops until they die, they then need to borrow money from the Bank. The Bank cannot do the …show more content…

This desperation is painted throughout the repetition of “God”. The people that are being exploited by the Bank are desperate for survival during the extremely difficult times of the 1930s. The landowners knew that the land was poor and that they had “scrabbled at it long enough, God knows”(Steinbeck 32). Even the landowners were slaves to the Bank, no matter how much profit they made themselves. Their land was not profitable, with or without the tenants. This meant that they were just as stuck and vulnerable as the tenants, they would also end up in the monetary cycle. To avoid the cycle, they need to continue to exploit the tenants. Their vulnerability calls to the audience's feelings of sympathy. The land was so poor because of the cotton, “The squatter nodded—they knew, God knew” (Steinbeck 32). Even the people that had no home could tell how unprofitable and sad the land was. On top of that, God knew how poor the land was and he knew how much help the people needed. Every one of the people on the land hoped for a better future. They did not know what the future would bring but “God knows how much cotton next year” (Steinbeck 32) and “God knows what price cotton will bring” (Steinbeck 32). The only crutch these desperate people had was their faith. They were pleading with their higher power for a brighter future. Only God could break them out of their endless

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