Eluded Socialist Allusions within Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath

Eluded Socialist Allusions within Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath

Length: 895 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Eluded Socialist Allusions within Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath

Imagine awaking to the first rays of dawn, finding yourself lying on a tattered scrap of cardboard beneath a highway overpass. Your empty stomach churns with numbing hunger and you know today will be yet another listless scramble for survival. Homeless, jobless, and hungry, you glare with fervent jealousy at those clothed, groomed, and pompous passers-by grasping their purses and wallets tightly when they catch sight of you. Ashamed and enraged, you feel cheated and wonder how it is possible for such financial diversity to exist within the same city. You pitifully prop yourself against a wall on a busy street corner and await the morning rush hour that will supply your meager breakfast. The extreme poverty experienced by the unfortunate farmers who were forced into vagrancy during the Great Depression is not unlike the neediness that exists in American ghettos today. Such widespread destitution is a direct result of an inadequate economic system. Through tales of helpless families’ tribulation, Steinbeck and Kotlowitz disclose the defects of the capitalist system in The Grapes of Wrath and There Are No Children Here, meanwhile alluding to an alternative economic structure: socialism.

Throughout the novels, disadvantaged families become helpless victims of the lack of effective government aid in their area, an adverse effect of extreme capitalism. The Chicago Housing Authority actually hired “private security guards [who] searched out the squatters and physically removed them” (Kotlowitz 79). By kicking homeless people back out on the street, this government outfit coldly disregarded the basic human need of shelter in order to preserve their right to the decrepit property of the Henry Horner Homes. Such self-interested procedures are frequent and permitted through the capitalist ideas of personal property ownership. The “salesmen, neat, deadly, [with] small, intent eyes watching for weakness” depicted in an intercalary chapter are exemplary members of those who abuse the system . These malefactors, examples of limitless capitalism fueled by selfishness and greed, are able to prey on the vulnerable migrants because the mandating power set no restrictions against such unjust monopoly. Similarly, the violence that denigrates childhood in There Are No Children Here could be prevented if the government enforced laws against such brutality. Unfortunately, rash and illegal gang business is transacted with impunity in the Henry Horner Homes area daily because no one bothers to regulate illicit activity.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Eluded Socialist Allusions within Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=100241>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Why The Socialist Revolution Within Russia Essay

- The end of World War one left Continental Europe in a greatly weakened state both politically and economically, these being two prime conditions to breed socialism as there was a great outcry for a radical change heard throughout Europe. After the fall of the Tsarism within Russia and the rise of Lenin many believed there would be a domino effect throughout the rest of Europe causing them to too become socialist states, but this was not the case. A revolution occurs when “the pressure of capitalist exploitation and deprivation of political rights has become so unbearable that they are no longer willing to be tolerated” and although in post war Europe this was the case for many countries, an...   [tags: Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Soviet Union]

Research Papers
1784 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Biblical Allusions in Melville's Moby Dick

- In The Town-Ho’s Story, Melville uses many different types of figurative devices to describe the relationship between Steelkilt and Radney. Radney is known and described as the inferior, yet higher ranked, mate, while Steelkilt is described as the more respectable, but lower ranked mate. Melville faintly, yet noticeably relates Moby Dick as a God and Steelkilt as Jesus. Such clever biblical allusions accurately describe Moby Dick and Steelkilt and although Melville does not give any biblical significance to Radney, the readers can still clearly visualize Radney’s character....   [tags: Biblical Allusions, Melville, Moby Dick,]

Research Papers
689 words (2 pages)

The Rebellion Of The Socialist And Marxist Ideology Essay

- Revolution is a topic at the heart of the Socialist and Marxist Ideology. The processes that bring about the insurrection vary, but for Marx and Engels, the only viable coup d’état is a violent one, that will enable a transition to the best society and human life. In Marxism, revolution is inevitable because of precedents set by developmental historicism and then inequality rampant in society. These negative and traditional attributes give rise to class-consciousness in a manner that promotes the inexorable path of society from capitalism to socialism....   [tags: Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Karl Marx]

Research Papers
2024 words (5.8 pages)

Friedrich Durrenmatt’s Use of Allusions to Enhance the Plays Plot Essay

- In The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt, the use of allusions is very prevalent helping to compare the extent to what Durrenmatt is describing to its allusions. Durrenmatt’s implementation of allusions is used to offer a deeper understanding of the characterization, to compare the current town of Guellen to what it once was in order to explain why the town needs Claire’s money, and to show the irony of biblical ideas in order to show how Claire’s doings are as far from morally right as could be. Friedrich Durrenmatt's use of allusions in order to enhance and describe the characters include the famous Romeo and Juliet, Lais, and Lord Alfred Tennyson....   [tags: the visit, friedrich durrenmatt, allusions]

Research Papers
1038 words (3 pages)

The Main Factors Of A Successful Socialist System Essay

- The duty of the market is to ensure there is a constant flow of various resources to the consumers. The various forces should thus ensure the market is functioning to serve the needs of the different people in the society (Denis, 2015). There should be conformity in the various operations of the market to ensure the stability of the economy. The economic activities of the nation will determine the strength of the nations and the ability to compete with other organization in the market. The market thus has to be adequately attractive to attract the various investors (Jabłecki & Machaj, 2008)....   [tags: Socialism, Capitalism, Planned economy]

Research Papers
2249 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Socialism and Communism Midterm

- Socialism and Communism Midterm Question #1 Marxism was created by Karl Marx and Federick Engels; they both sought out a better future for the working class. Marx, who was born in Germany in 1818 and died in London in 1883, lived in a world where he disagreed with capitalism whole heartedly. Frederick Engels was also born in Germany in 1820 and died in London in 1895. With this, they created their own philosophical and economic thought which was called Marxism. The problem with Marx was that he was always ready to change his mind about certain theories or ideas which he created....   [tags: marxism, capitalism, socialist movement]

Research Papers
2454 words (7 pages)

Grapes Of Wrath Biblical Allusions Essay

- John Steinbeck carefully molded his story The Grapes of Wrath to encompass many themes and ideas. He included several Biblical allusions to enforce his message of the migrating families coming together to form a community. Steinbeck alludes to Biblical characters through Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon, events like the family’s journey to California and the flood at the end of the novel, and teachings throughout the novel.      The Biblical allusions represented by the characters in the novel are most obvious in the characters of Jim Casy and Rose of Sharon....   [tags: John Steinbeck Bible Religion essays papers]

Research Papers
881 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Steinbecks Nonteleological Perspective

- There is no meaning to life. Life has no inherent meaning. The meanings of our lives are chosen by what we feel and experience or are assigned to us by others. The ends of our existence cannot be foreseen and will not be limited by such things as destiny. These are the ideas and philosophies of those who believe life to be non-teleological. A famous literary example of a non-teleologist is a man named John Steinbeck. Throughout his life Steinbeck experimented with Darwinism, transcendentalism, realism, socialism, naturalism, and Taoism (Endnotes 1)....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
2951 words (8.4 pages)

Steinbeck's Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath Essay

- Biblical Allusion in The Grapes of Wrath A popular literary technique that can be found in a number of literary works is the biblical allusion.  John Steinbeck perfects this technique in his novel The Grapes of Wrath by introducing a character who is symbolic of Jesus Christ.  This character, Jim Casy, not only shares initials with this biblical figure, but he also grows thoughout the novel as a speaker, a mediator, an organizer, and, most remarkably, a martyr. At the advent of the novel, Jim Casy is quick to protest that he is no longer a preacher.  Nevertheless, evidence of his innate speaking ability is brought forth when he explains his thoughts and ideas to Tom.  For example, Casy re...   [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck]

Free Essays
432 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on Socialism

- What would happen if we all made the same amount of money. To understand what our society would be as socialist, we must understand the difference between socialist and capitalist ideas. The question becomes not so much as what is socialism, but how does it differ from capitalism, and what is wrong with capitalistic ideas to where we would need socialism. The problem becomes where do you draw the line between capitalism and socialism to where we have trust, sense of community and also competition....   [tags: socialist]

Research Papers
1750 words (5 pages)

Another illustration of abuse ignored by the ruling power is when “the bank told [the landowners] . . . ‘You’re paying thirty cents an hour. You’d better cut it down to twenty five’” immediately followed by “‘You going to need the usual amount for crop loan next year?’”. No influential force intervenes because the manipulation is viewed as an application of a capitalist dogma, “the law of supply and demand.” Consequently, the banks continue to benefit from the forced maltreatment of the impecunious nomads. Because the capitalist regime advocates the benefit of the individual, not the common state, underprivileged people’s needs are often ignored.

The authors allude to socialism when their desperate characters, enveloped in penury, congregate to ensure that all basic needs are met. When a newborn Oakie baby “got worms . . . an’ he died . . . from not getting’ good things to eat,” the compassion of the community shined despite the tragedy as “a little heap of silver grew” in front of the parents’ tent, thus providing a decent burial for the baby (Steinbeck 326). Likewise, when LaJoe’s welfare benefits are cut off, “one of her sisters gave her $65 worth of food stamps [and] Rochelle supplied her with some food”. Her family and friends “were not much better off than she”; they sacrificed to provide enough for her family’s survival. Even though poverty was ubiquitous, the selfless generosity of people in these two eras prevails. In the midst of deprivation, families and neighbors adhered to the humanist concept of sharing as a means for common survival. The benevolence of one individual can also impact the well being of an entire society. Out of goodness, Craig Davis would dee-jay miniature dance parties on the porch of the Horner complex that gave the residents “some of the most spontaneous and spirited fun they had ever had at Horner”. He alone provided enjoyment to the people’s bleak lives. Rose of Sharon, after enduring the migration from home, the flight of her husband, and the death of her unborn child, puts aside these woes and unabashedly offers a famished man the milk from her breast. Despite her previous modesty and overwhelming troubles, Rose gives part of herself to save another. The authors include scenes that show selflessness and the characters’ concern for the common good, key aspects of ideal socialism, to show that in the flaws of capitalism, desperate people open their hearts to socialist tendencies.

The use of innocent people as victims of cold capitalism and unknowing promoters of the principles of socialism proves effective in both novels. Neither Steinbeck nor Kotlowitz directly oppose capitalism and advocate socialism in their tales, but rather discretely present the two ideals to influence the reader’s thoughts about each system. Both authors are aware that not all readers will agree with malign towards capitalism. Steinbeck even displays little Ruthie’s love of personal property: when she was instructed to share the “geranium gone wild” with her brother, she “felt how the fun was gone” because she wanted the flower for herself only .
Return to 123HelpMe.com