Totalitarianism In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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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…
The book helps point the reader to a Utopian society by providing them three big examples of social organization and showing the weaknesses and benefits of each. In the first society we have the hooverville where people are allowed to pursue whatever they want, and are not helped by the government this was set up as an example of how people need to work together to be able to survive and protect each other. Next we have the government camp where the people are provided for by the government and left alone and happy, but this society has no jobs and no meaningful opportunities. This society moves nowhere and does not progress. And lastly we have the train car society where people come together and are independent to the government, while this society is able to accomplish so much with what little they have, but nothing is able to protect them from misfortune. These societies are hypothetical situations that show the reader that the Ideal society has protective socialism, Capitalist opportunity and the help and oversight of government. The third organization that the Joad family should have gone to was a government camp where growers were requesting

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