Poverty In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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While the United State’s stock market had been rising steadily in the 1920s the economy was several imbalanced. Due to the large stock market crash, of October 29 1929, the lack of diversification, and the maldistribution of wealth America’s economy slowly began to fall apart. Maldistribution of wealth was especially high in the agriculture market. Maldistribution of wealth began when agricultural production increases but the profits made by farmers was not large enough to create a proper market. The demand of the people was not keeping up with the supply of agricultural goods the farmers are suppling. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath focuses majorly on the maldistribution of wealth during the depression, especially on farmers and their …show more content…
John Steinbeck “puts a human face” on the experience of the dispossessed farmers using the emotions of the people against the farmers and the emotions of the family members of the farmers. The owners, or a spokes person or the owners, would come to the land the farmers work on to repossess it. “Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to d, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were angry because the hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found out the one could not be an owner unless one were cold” (pg 32) The owners would often blame the bank or finance company they worked through, as if it were a “monster” so as to not have the responsibility of taking someone’s home. “Well it’s too late. And the owner men explained the workings and the thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. A Man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that. Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank. But -- you see, bank or a company can’t do that, because those creatures don’t breathe air don’t eat side-meat.”(pg 33) The women and children of the farmers would stand away watching the owners talk to their farmers. They would try and gauge the tension in the air to see if something bad was happening, that could threaten or change their lives. ”And the men …show more content…
As farmers and their families leave to travel out west, most with a destination of California, to start over. Their cars, old and worn down, soon begin to break and parts begin to cease working. Used car sales men begin to cheat the people with broken down cars “Watch the woman’s face. If the women likes it we can screw the old man.” (pg 63) Long lines of car pass down the infamous highway 66, each trying their hardest to get to California and help their family get back on its feet. However, on their journey the travelers are often met with reproach from the people the meet and pass along the way. “That’s what you think! Ever heard of the border patrol of the California line? Police from Los Angeles -- stopped you bastards, turned you back. Says if you can’t buy no real estate we don’t want you. Says you got a driver’s license? Le’s see it. Tore it right u. Says you can’t come in without no driver’s license.” (pg 125) When the farmers leave their land to travel to California it becomes vacant. A man comes everyday with a tractor but leaves after his work is done. The farm houses soon begin to crumble away. “So easy that the wonder goes out of work, so efficient that the wonder goes out of land and the working of it, and with the wonder the deep understanding and no relation.” (pg 120) I feel this describes Steinbeck’s attitude towards the government

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