Stealing in The Grapes of Wrath

Stealing in The Grapes of Wrath

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Stealing in The Grapes of Wrath




Is it okay to steal if you're poor and starving? It's okay to steal if you need to in order to survive or to help yourself or others in a time of need. The Joads, along with many other families, decided to move west but they only had a limited amount of money. If something came up, like if their car broke down, they would have to steal or bargain to fix it. They had no other choice because they had no one else to turn to or no where else to go. Sometimes people steal just because they don't want to pay for something even though they're capable of paying for it. Some people steal to help other people and in someway it's good and some it's bad.


In the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck there's many poor families moving west to California. The store owners and gas station attendant worry that these people will steal. "Wonder where they all go to," said Mae. "Come here for gas sometimes, but they don't hardly never but nothin' else. People says they steal. We ain't got nothin' layin' around. They never stole nothin' from us." Later the same woman sold a 15 cent loaf of bread to a man and his family for 10 cents and two nickel candies for a penny. The man insisted that the woman cut off 10 cents worth because he felt like he was stealing from her if he got more. She ended up giving him the whole loft after all though. The woman was angry with the people at first but then helped them out because she felt sorry for them.


An example of someone who steals even though they can afford it is Winona Ryder. On November 6, 2002, Winona Ryder was found guilty of felony grand theft and vandalism for shop lifting $5,500 of merchandise from Beverly Hill's Saks Fifth Avenue in December of 2001. It was said that Ryder had "intent to steal" because "she brought her own burglary tools," including scissors to remove garment tags, a garment bag, and a plastic bag filled with nothing but tissue paper for wrapping up items.

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Winona Ryder is a successful actress that would have no problem pay for the merchandise that she stole.


Some people steal in order to help someone else out. A classic story where a man stole money from the king and returned it to the town people is Robin Hood. Tradition tells that Robin Hood was an outlaw he robbed the rich to feed the poor and fought against injustice. As legend tells it, Robin Hood felt that the king wasn't being justified because he was taxing the people too much. Robin Hood gave all the money back to the people without getting anything in return except for maybe respect from the people.


In conclusion, sometimes stealing is considered okay. If someone steals so they can survive or to help other people that are in need then in most cases it's alright. To steal just because they didn't want to pay for something even though they're capable then it's wrong. These people should be punished in order to learn that they were wrong for stealing.


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