Moral Codes In The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

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The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, depicts the adventure of Tom Joad on finding his true identity as a tenant farmer during the Great Depression. Steinbeck alternates the actual story and the intercalary chapters in order to give the background information on about what was going to happen in the real story, but also to imply his meaning of writing the book. Especially in Chapter 17, the passage explains the growing number of settlers on the side road of the highway. On the peregrination to California, the cycle, where the farmers ask and join the another family group, repeats and ultimately, a gigantic group of about twenty families is created with rules, laws, and rights. While narrating about the formation of a complex group, …show more content…
Moral codes were especially important when coming to organize a group, and disobeying such rules meant that it would disrupt the peace of the group. At the end of the passage, Steinbeck mentions about the list of rights that are “monstrous and must be destroyed,” such as: “ the right to intrude upon privacy...the right of adultery and theft and murder” (194). These lists of the unlawful actions were typically considered unfavorable, immoral, and extremely disrespectful that should be destroyed. Especially, Steinbeck uses the repetition of the word “right” to establish the unlawful actions that human beings can commit at any time because rights, by its meaning, ensure people to do such actions. With having such new-born organized society created by farmers, its society could not exist with any unlawful “rights” given. If moral codes were broken, then the families cannot stay together, which the landowners would always love to see. Moral codes, especially their respect, became important so that fewer conflicts would happen in the society. Moreover, Steinbeck says that “rules became laws, although no one told the families” (194). Knowing that rules and laws were usually stated either in written or verbal way, Steinbeck says, using irony, that those were never told to the families. However, even though it was never mentioned, the families their instincts and their own moral codes in order to comfort or support each other in adverse situations--they were unconsciously aware that the moral codes would strengthen the bonds among different families, which would lead them to a betterment of a

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