John Steinbeck 's The Grapes Of Wrath Essay

1227 Words Jun 6th, 2016 5 Pages
With the evolution of a dream comes the evolution of its methodology. In America, the classic Puritan work ethic was once held as the shining beacon of opportunity; with hard work came the undeniable promise of material riches, a heightened social status, and economic security. However, with America’s metamorphosis into an industrial powerhouse and the decline of “old-fashioned” work came the vanishing of this opportunity: the famous dream was no longer accessible or realistic. In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family endures countless trials and tribulations in their search for hard work, only to have the promised “dream” fail them when they reach California. In the 1930s, hard work appeared irrelevant to the achievement of success. Although once the key to power and prestige, it no longer played a role in individual achievement. Through the Joad’s attempt to work to attain this dream, Steinbeck illustrates the insignificance of achieving prosperity through labor. This suggests that hard work does not always equal success.
The dream of attaining success through hard work depleted with the introduction of industrialization. With the beginning of new mass-farming techniques and modernized machinery (Danzer et al. 492), the proletariat lifestyle depleted with the individual work ethic it accompanied. For example, even when the Joads reach the land of “milk and honey”, the overtaking of industrial farming results in few traditional, private owned farms: even…

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