The Importance of a Person’s Social Class

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The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, has many social class conflicts presented in the book. The main thing that Steinbeck concentrates on is the fact that if a man had land he had a name, he had a purpose. Though some men in the 1930’s were living in poverty and having to struggle to provide for their family, they still had a place, their land kept them grounded, they didn’t feel like they were ultimately losing everything. Steinbeck tells a story about a family that got their land taken away from them and their struggle to continue on with their lives. Land is the most valued piece any man could have. If they didn’t have land then money was hard to earn because you had no crops. Steinbeck shows this in the first chapter of The Grapes of Wrath. “And the women came out of the houses to stand beside their men-to feel whether this time the men would break.” (Steinbeck 6) This quote is after the men wake up to find their ruined corn form the dust storms. The men would become angry at his crops and the dust storms because if they didn’t get money soon they would lose their land. Though this does not apply to some men in the book, some man gave up, knowing that feeding their family was more important, that the land was already destroyed anyway. They took part in destroying the land, destroying people’s home. These men were described as part of the monster, the tractor, that they had no feeling for the land that was being plowed. “I got d**** tired of creeping for my dinner-and not getting it. I got a wife and kids. We got to eat. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day.” (Steinbeck 50) This quote is from the tractor driver that is plowing the fields for the bank. He is arguing with the tenant about not caring for the land that ... ... middle of paper ... ... here.” (Steinbeck 65) When his wife and kids left, he lost his property, and started living in abandon homes and crooks by the river to stay away from the bankers, he was to proud to leave his home and even when the banks took it away from him, he still stays and fights, causing the men that run the tractors a hard time. With all of the challenges men had to face during this time, they still fought to keep their land, to keep who they are. Though there were many obstacles they had to overcome, they still fought with their heart and provided for their family as best as they could. Class conflict and money had the south in poverty in the 1930’s, with the dust bowl and crops not growing, bankers and men that had no honor to their home land, and debts piling up and people without homes. Luckily some families were able to overcome all of this and help each other out.

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