Essay on The Leader Of The People By John Steinbeck

735 Words Feb 15th, 2016 3 Pages
Isolated Generation In the short story “The Leader of the People” John Steinbeck writes about a young boy named Jody, who lives on an isolated ranch. After Jody finds out his grandfather is visiting, he is happy and wants to hear about the adventurous stories his grandfather tells about the Great Plains. When Grandfather’s tales create a controversy, he tells Jody how the ocean is the end of discovery. In “The Leader of the People” Steinbeck uses the ranch, ocean, and Grandfather to symbolically develop the conflict between past and present. Steinbeck uses the ranch to symbolize isolation from the outside world. Since the ranch is secluded away from other human activity, the family rarely leaves the ridge top. Steinbeck gives characterization to the animals to demonstrate how isolated the ranch is, for example, the cat walks in the direction of the road, but “gallop[s] back again” (1) and does not try to leave. When Jody’s father comes home, the dog “look[s] up the hill toward the cleft in the ridge” (2) and stares at the road. Jody’s parents are stern and teach Jody about the responsibilities he has to follow to only benefit the ranch, so he does not get the chance to be around other children. Although Jody does not have a lot of opportunity to live like a normal child, he believes there is more life and adventure beyond the ranch. Steinbeck develops ways to express how isolated Jody feels. For example, while Jody is waiting for his grandfather to arrive, he “plod[s] on…

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