Similarities Between Grapes Of Wrath And Civil Disobedience

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Amidst tension, society’s view of government is controversial. The role of government, and whether interference with everyday lives is necessary, is essential in shaping the writings and beliefs of author John Steinbeck and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. Both men express the idea that government should not have an increasing role in the lives of people through their works, The Grapes of Wrath and Civil Disobedience, respectively. They emphasize that complexities in government are the root of the problem. Despite these similarities, Steinbeck’s view of a limited role of government strongly differs from Thoreau’s transforming view of a better government. Both Steinbeck and Thoreau clearly advocate their stance against increasing government interference in everyday lives. Steinbeck incorporated the philosophy of …show more content…

He suggests that the best solution is “not at once no government, but at once a better government” (Thoreau 1). Instead of condemning government as a whole, Thoreau seeks for it to understand that “there will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived” (Thoreau 4). Rather then stepping away from the affairs of the people, Thoreau simply wants the government to adapt to the power of the people. Through this, he reinstates a sense of democracy. Thoreau’s open mindset to change is proof that conditions will be better for those who are suffering, “for it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever” (Thoreau 7). Steinbeck, meanwhile, offers no clear alternative as to what the government should be, rather only offering what the government is. Thoreau elevates Steinbeck’s claim by shifting the meaning of authority, so that it can better resolve the problems of

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