Theme Of Prejudice In The Grapes Of Wrath

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Hatred and Dark Cloud Imagine arriving to the promised land, the land of milk and honey, only to realize that everything about this place was a lie. Upon arriving to California ,the Joad family experienced exactly this along with prejudice and hatred. Prejudice is defined as when someone has a preconceived opinion not based on reason or actual experience. On the other hand, hatred is described as intense dislike or ill will. There are many varying forms of hatred and prejudice found in The Grapes of Wrath and the forms we see in today’s society. While they faced hate from many of the Californians, they received the most dislike and judgement from the banks and the landowners. These groups had justifications and reasonings for their actions,…show more content…
The owners and banks were greedy. If the landowners in California let the Okies have some land, some necessities, and privileges, how long until the Okies wanted more? Once the Okies had a taste of a better life, they would stop at nothing to get it. When the people of California saw all the migrant workers who were so different than them, they saw a threat. They cannot let them rebel or strike or it will spell the end of all they know. Furthermore, the landowners and bank owners fear the Okies because of their massive population size; they have the power to overpower them. “Okies-the owners hated them because the owners knew they were soft and the Okies strong, that they were fed and the Okies hungry; and perhaps the owners had heard from their grandfathers how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed. The owners hated them.” (Steinbeck 279). The owners and banks know that the only way to keep them from rebelling is to stomp on them, separate them and ensure they are always hungry and without a home. Another rationale behind these groups’ actions is misunderstanding. The Okies are farming men from the Midwest who desire things that the banks and landowners deem worthless. In addition to this, the Okies are getting angry and desperate because their families are literally starving to death. If they get desperate enough and angry enough, they may stop at nothing to get what they want. There are several justifications for their actions. The banks and landowners were doing nothing illegal although it was morally wrong. “And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.” (Steinbeck 349). This quote shows that in that making money took precedence over a starving child. It was certainly legal, but not ethically correct. Moreover, they were just doing it to protect their self-interests. All of this is
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