The Food Industry In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Family has been an integral and valued part of Western culture for centuries. The reason for this can be traced back to times when food was not easily accessible to a people, unless they worked for. Families found that it was necessary to stick together in order ensure that everyone had sufficient rations. This idea, drawn from common sense, became a wonderful tradition, which today is called the family nucleus. No book shows the realities of relying on the strong core of a family in same way that The Grapes of Wrath does. Steinbeck's word is hailed as a classic today for its accurate depiction of life for small farmers during the natural catastrophe known as the Dust Bowl. The book begins with Tom Joad, a son of farmers, returning to his…show more content…
This was perhaps the beginning of a major change in agriculture that is still an issue today with farmers. This problem is that of large farmers and businesses forcing smaller farmers out of business by lowering the already marginal profitability farming on a small scale. This elimination of small competitors from the field of competition not only eliminated jobs, as shown in The Grapes of Wrath, but also led to the development of monopolies in today’s food industry. Although this is a natural result of capitalism, it cause several inherent problems, the most important is keeping food from being produced and consumed locally, which aids the financial standing of local areas, instead of centralizing it in major corporations. It also allows for the exploitation of laborers due to the lack of competition among different producers for wages and working conditions. The Grapes of Wrath showed the early effects of such monopolies and both farmers and laborers socially and economically, and, in a way, it could be considered a warning against allowing such circumstances to develop. Whatever the intent of the book during time, important messages can be drawn from it concerning the agriculture of the United States, and the change from families working together to corporations ruling the
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