Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Grapes of Wrath- Themes

The themes of this book are very upsetting to me especially about police and businesses and poverty. There are many of them in this book that I vehemently disagree with. I understand that the situation the farmers were put in was extremely difficult, and in times like that many people turn their outrage on the nearest thing available to blame.

The farmers blame the banks for taking possession of what they sold by taking loans they could not pay (Steinbeck 28). Perhaps they had little choice in the matter, but even so, it is not fair to be angry at something the bank did after they asked for it. It is bad form.

Another thing that bothered me was the way they talked about the corrupt police in California. This book is not just about California, but about all of country and capitalism in general. There is a broad, concrete line between capitalism and corruption, and the police in the story cross it. This book has a really anti-capitalistic feel to it, mostly because it villainesses businesses and other institutions. I think associating capitalism and corruption like that is not very responsible, and done in bad taste.

The way the author writes about poverty makes me think that it must be horrible. However, poverty is a passive state, it happens because a person has done nothing to stop it. Wealth is requires a person to do something to reach it. The people knew that their land was poor and would not grow well for much longer. They should have learned to do something new to prevent their poverty, or they should not complain when it happens. Even after they learned California was hopeless, they could have tried some different employment.

What really bothers me about this book is how everything is about the collective and how good it is. Honestly, the thought frightens and sickens me. People are important on their own, without the justification of helping others. People do not need justifying.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.

1 comment:

  1. I understand the difficulty you have relating to the concepts of the Great Depression. The novel paints such a vivid description of the time that it is easy to picture, but, as you implied, difficult to relate to.