The Role Of Socialism In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck is a historical milestone and a literary American masterpiece that continues to enlighten modern society. The book was set during the great depression which was right after and right before wars that shocked the world. During this time period economic and social systems were drastically dividing the world into camps of Communism, Capitalism, Totalitarianism and even Anarchy. These systems created fear for the alien economic and social plans because nationalism portrayed the opposite side as evil in any way shape or form. America being a very Capitalist and democratic society is one of the biggest advocates for their system, however the Grapes of wrath make John Steinbeck appear like an advocate for communism. …show more content…
The theme of community and support is meant to question the mindset that people in capitalism need to live on their own. Many people like Ma realize that if everyone helps everyone they will all get to california, and this Idea is used by John Steinbeck as a theme that prevails throughout much of the book. This theme also encompasses a huge value of socialism. “i lost my land is changed; a cell is split and its splitting grows the thing you hate--- We lost our land The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one. And from this first we grows a still more dangerous thing:” i have little food” plus “i have none” if from this problem the sum is “we have little food” the thing is on its way. The movement has its direction.”(p151) This movement that is described is Marx’s original rise of the proletariat theory that predicts that people themselves under oppression would rise up together. Even the title holds this exact same call for Marx’s socialism “In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy”. This book if not directly saying it calls for socialism in america where I is the role of every one to protect the live and pursuits of …show more content…
John Steinbeck believes that on a social level people should work together towards a common goal and self improvement, but he specifically avoids using this sentiment in any political or economic way which is the key defining factor of communism. defining. Even in the government run hooverville John Steinbeck specifically emphasizes the fact that the reason why the “Government camp” is better than the hooverville is because the people run it and support each other. While some people might interpret this as John Steinbeck arguing for anarchy and arguing against the government, this is the one chapter where the government is talked about in a positive light. The problems of communism are show again in the state of the Joad family, in the beginning of the book the family hierarchy is set up like a communist society where all the resources are shared and all the power rests in the hands of Pa. as the Joad family goes on however this apparent organization breaks down and everyone pitches in and makes choices for the good of the family.Even in the govvernment run hooverville John Steinbeck specifically emphasizes the fact that the reason why the “Government camp” is better than the hooverville is because the people run it and the people support eachother. While some people

Related Documents