The Greatness Of A Community In John Steinbeck's 'Grapes Of Wrath'

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Grapes of Wrath Synthesis Essay
Coretta Scott King, prominent civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr., once stated, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”. King argues that the real value in a community lies in how people are treated within the group rather than the communities effect on the outer world. During the Great Depression, the common experience of poverty throughout the nation brought people together to form communities that assisted each other in their aim of survival. The struggle prevalent across the working class created a culture and community that was reliant on this compassion for each other. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath elaborates on
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As the story follows the Joads in the even chapters, the odd describe how these broader concepts, hinted at with the Joads, connect to experiences in the “real world”. In one case, the novel first gives a general description of a Hooverville and what it is like to live in such conditions, than follows with a more personal story of the Joads(Chapter 19-20). The dialogue between two characters is sans quotations for the first chapter. In his decision to forgo quotation marks, Steinbeck creates a fluid, indistinguishable version of a conversation. Rather than it being about one character talking to another character, this dialogue creates an ambiguous situation that is applicable to more people. While an open form of dialogue emphasizes a connection and openness of situation it also lacks a specific aspect that can make it hard to understand. This lack of information is balanced with the Joad family whose interactions give more depth to Steinbeck’s representation of the Great Depression. The balance between a broader and specific description and portrayal of experiences create a more complete story that has a better chance of connecting with the
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