The Theme Of Generosity In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, a French novelist who went by the pseudonym George Sand, claimed “charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.” Those who give to others solely believe they are contributing to the greater good. While those receiving more or less don’t reciprocate the same gratitude. At the beginning of adolescence, we are taught it is important to help others less fortunate than one because it is not about individuality — but community. John Steinbeck explores this theme in The Grapes of Wrath while telling the story of a poor family’s journey to California. In the novel, Steinbeck uses Mae to demonstrate that generosity shown towards suffering people reveals an individual’s underlying morals.
Mae giving discounted bread to a family reveals her needs are less important when helping a suffering family. When Mae is working at her …show more content…

The word is ambiguous to everyone in society. Many view charity as giving back to those in need because they feel as though they are “bettering the community” in one small way. However, those receiving can see it as pity or shameful action. We see this throughout The Grapes of Wrath as well, the receiving end of the generosity is interpreted differently than those giving out. In today’s society, it’s programmed into us that if you don’t partake in charitable actions, you aren’t considered a “good samaritan.” If you aren’t helping, what are you doing? Some people today, are being “generous” for all the wrong reasons: to fulfill volunteer hours or to set an image. We need people to check their moral intentions before believing they are “helping” the community. In other words, people cause more damage to others when having the wrong intentions when it comes to charitable work. If we don’t, we create a society that pities those who suffer in order create a positive image for an individual. Now. Reflect on how you are “bettering” the

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