The Land In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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As a human being we have an unbreakable relationship with the land that we find ourselves on. The Earth is the foundation of all humanity. It provides us with our food, our habitat and most of all it contributes to our sense of identity. In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath the author explores the relationship between the people and the land, examining who holds the ownership, the power that the land has over the people and the consequences of abusing mans relationship with earth for his own greed.

A man without fertile land has nothing in the Great Depression of America in which The Grapes of Wrath is set. Farmers were constantly facing the repercussions of their failing crops due to the dustbowl in the form of the banks repossessing
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If we take care of the land, the land will take care of us. Steinbeck in his novel highlights the consequences of abusing the relationship that humans have with the earth for their own greed, again pointing the finger at the capitalist agenda. The author dedicates several chapters to what he views as a “failing that topples all our successes” in the fact that in America, the land of plenty, there are “millions” of starving migrants who are unable to be fed, juxtaposing the starvation with the “carloads of oranges dropped on the ground” and the squirting of “kerosene all over the golden mountains”. Steinbeck goes on to say that there is a “crime here that goes beyond denunciation”, there is a “sorrow that the weeping cannot symbolise” in that “children must die of pellagra because a profit cannot be taken from an orange”. The novelist is appalled, angry that because man abuses his relationship with the land, wasting good food, there is mass starvation among the people, forcing the “coroners to fill in their death certificates - died of malnutrition - because the food must rot, be forced to rot”. Steinbeck clearly and explicitly demonstrates the ultimate price the american people are paying as consequence to large companies not being able “stay one size” in reference to their profits. He denounces what he views as their crimes, believing that it is delinquent that they are unable to sacrifice their capital to feed …show more content…
Steinbeck places so much emphasis on this relationship to focus on how we have lost our identity and duty as humans. He views it a failing that we no longer support each other and ensure equality through our placing of a higher priority on generating profits from the land instead of feeding the millions starving. Steinbeck challenges the reader to protest against the capitalist nature of the American society, in the hope of stopping what through the authors eyes, are preventable deaths through

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