Greed Overpowers All in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

Greed Overpowers All in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

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People wonder how a human would change when his/her surroundings change. Will they change for the better or worse? Will they still be willing to go out of their way to help those how are around them? John Steinbeck shows us in The Grapes of Wrath how a person can change when they have nothing. He shows us how when people are desperate, they would do anything to further themselves and only themselves. Most of all, he shows us how greed overpowers anything and everything when times are desperate. This motif assists in developing a major theme in the book. It shows that people would be greedy to other human beings, that people would damage nature in order to advance themselves and that people wouldn't help their own family to help further themselves.

Even though everyone during the Great Depression was suffering, everyone only thought of themselves without ever contemplating of the others situation or satisfying both parties at the same time. This is most evident when the tractor plowed right through farmers' property, even when the drivers themselves, were farmers. Most farmers became tractor drivers because they “got to think of [their] own kids” and it pays “three dollars a day[...]every day” (48). The tractor driver here is clearly thinking of his own situation and is completely dismissing the fact that the Joads would be losing a place to live and property they can call their own. He simply suggests that the Joads should go to California because there is work available there. What the tractor driver doesn't realize is that the people of California wouldn't appreciate the arrival of the 'Okies' because, they too, want to be on the receiving end instead of the giving end and simply further themselves to help provide for their...


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...e other men in the Joad family and was just another mouth to feed. The Joads (except for Tom) were willing to leave a family member behind not caring that he possibly wouldn't be able to provide for himself. The Joads were desperate enough to leave a family member behind because of greed to care for themselves.

Greed is a attribute that comes out at the worst possible times, at desperate times. Through The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck was able to show people's true motive in life when the time comes. Greed is expressed from man to other human beings, nature, and family members as well. People will change for the worse when the time calls for it and most importantly, people will use whatever means possible to help themselves.


Work Cited

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Web. 25 September 2015.

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