Love between Social Classes in The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby

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Of all the archetypes of American literature, none presents such radically evolved ideas as the Modernism movement. Its overarching concepts remain in flux and provide contrasting glimpses of multitudes of topics; however, just as many of its central tenets remain unchanged between novels, years, and the digression from form that humanity’s modern culture condones. The ideas and concepts that John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald put forth in their novels, The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby, are not exceptions. Specifically, the theme of love across social classes shines through both novels, exhibited in the ineffable drive to lend oneself to another person of a lower class deserving of help. The ineffable love that shines through both novels does not just span the separation of social class, but it does so silently, with no trace of its beginning except the light of hope it brings to the receiver. This force is not tepid or outspoken in any way; its power simply emanates from a deeper source than most other emotions and ideas. In this way, Steinbeck lets the regrettable but undeniable love of the Okies shine forth in The Grapes of Wrath. He describes Mae, the waitress in a fictional diner, who unknowingly holds in her heart pity for her fellow man. Speaking to an Okie in the diner who was seeking to feed his children with a loaf of bread, Mae said, “’You can have this for ten cents.’ ‘That’d be robbin’ you ma’am.’ ‘Go ahead - Al says to take it.’” (Fitzgerald, 1992). Immediately afterwards, the empyreal, brotherly love she never even knew she entertained makes itself known. Such a feeling was also eminent in The Great Gatsby when Daisy stepped down from her high rung of the social ladder a... ... middle of paper ... ... the fluid backdrop of Modernism, the authors John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald stand out with their rigid message. Going against culture, they push onward and tell the stories of people relying on those above them to save them from their incomplete lives at the tormenting bottom of the social ladder. The two authors pioneered this concept in literature and set a standard for others to follow. Not only is their standard set for all of literature to follow, but also those that hear its message in turn must do their job to help those below them. People of the new Modern Age must now take the ideas of these authors into consideration and explore the brotherly love that flows through us all. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. S. (1992). The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction. Steinbeck, J. (2006). The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books.

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