Similarities Between Grapes Of Wrath And Civil Disobedience

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In The Grapes of Wrath and Civil Disobedience, authors John Steinbeck and Henry David Thoreau discuss their beliefs about the government. Having being written more than one hundred years apart, these authors overlap and differ on some of their ideas about the government. Both Steinbeck and Thoreau believe that there should be a universal solution to governmental issues. However, they differ on what exactly should be universal and whether there should be a governmental force at all. It can be seen in both The Grapes of Wrath and Civil Disobedience that authors John Steinbeck and Henry David Thoreau believe that universal ideas are the solution to a well-run and just government. As the days go by in The Grapes of Wrath, many migrant families …show more content…

Steinbeck portrays his ideas of universal to be the idea of togetherness. He believes everyone should work together for a common goal because together is better than one. This is shown in chapter 17 when the migrant families “had all come from a place of sadness… and because they were all going to a new mysterious place,… they shared their lives” (Steinbeck 264). Here, migrant families come together with a common background. Thus, they are able to use this universal fact about themselves to build a common government that fits for everyone. In contrast, Thoreau believes that one’s conscience is more important than what the law states. People must do what they believe is right as individuals. His idea is based on the universal principle that society has known for a long time: that “every man shall judge for himself” (Thoreau 3). In Thoreau’s mind, government should have a universal philosophy that the government should be based upon and apply this philosophy to law. Unlike Thoreau, Steinbeck believes that people of similar background and thought should come together to create a governing system and develop a lifestyle that suits those particular …show more content…

For example, Steinbeck believes that people should categorize themselves with similar people because there will be a universal idea that people can relate with, while Thoreau believes each person should have their own universal beliefs. Both authors believe in the idea of separation from a overarching government. However, this belief is only similar, and not the same. Steinbeck still believes in the idea of government force while Thoreau believes in the total separation and instead pushes for individualism. It is evident that Steinbeck believes in a governmental force due to the idea of the creation of “social conduct [in the migrant groups that[becomes] fixed and rigid” (Steinbeck 266). Even if the migrant groups have universal ideas, which is the reason why they became a group in the first place, strict conduct is established, and not everyone may agree fully with the conduct. They came together with the same background, which does not equate to same beliefs of how migrant camps should run. Yet, migrant families follow through with these conducts, just as citizens follow through with laws that governments establish. Contrastingly, Thoreau believes in the total separation from the government, as he states that “the character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished[,] and it would’ve done… more, if the

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