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Chris Babson
Mrs. Melvin
English 3 Honors
1 February 2013
Literary Analysis: John Steinbeck’s “The Turtle”
The Roaring 20’s, a pleasant time filled with new ideas and new trends, but not all was pleasant at this time. In this era the Great Depression happened and the American people were hopeless. At the time of the looming depression America was a bustling country with a good economy and an extremely innovative society. People were changing old customs, and breaking rules without a care. All of these awesome and new things blinded the society to the real horror of their banks. They had no way to regulate them and when the banks ran out of money they shut down and innocent people lost everything in a day. This infamous day was October 28th 1929, The Great Stock Market Crash! As the people of the United States were becoming poor, hungry, and homeless they needed something, or someone to look up to for hope. That’s were a very descriptive writer named John Steinbeck comes into this mix. He wrote a story called the Great Gatsby and it was about the hard times of the Depression. In Chapter 3 of the book Steinbeck made a short story about a Turtle. “A Turtle?” you might ask How does a turtle relate to the Great Depression? In the short story the turtle Steinbeck conveys a desert setting that is bleak and desolate, but this turtle faces many obstacles and never gives up: That’s a symbol for the people of America and how we got out of the depression. This story is about a land turtle that is determined to cross a 2 way traffic road. This isn’t a great feat of skill to a human, but to a turtle, this can be very overwhelming. In the first paragraph of the story it states “And over the grass at the roadside a land turtle crawled, turning aside for nothing”. This quote says “turning aside for nothing”, and it means that whatever this little turtle encountered or saw would not faze him, or distract him from accomplishing his goal. The turtle’s attitude at this point in the story represents how the American people’s attitude should be under a great downfall like the depression. The turtle’s biggest obstacle or “Depression” is the road and the desert. Here is another quote from the story: “And over the grass at the roadside a land turtle crawled, turning aside for nothing, dragging his high-domed shell over the grass: His hard legs and yellow-nailed feet threshed slowly through the grass, not really walking, but boosting and dragging his shell along”. The dragging and boosting of the turtle represents the crippled economy of America and the big shell could represent the big burden that America has on its back, the depression. Now in this Part of the story the turtle is faced with many obstacles like the burrs, the ant, and this hill but still keeps on keepin on. “The hind feet kicked his shell along, and it scraped on the grass, and on the gravel. As the embankment grew steeper and steeper, the more frantic were the efforts of the land turtle. Pushing hind legs strained and slipped, boosting the shell along, and the horny head protruded as far as the neck could stretch.” This is a quote from the story and what is happening is the turtle is faced with this steep hill he has to climb to get to the road, but as he’s climbing he gets stuck. But strains and tries enough to where can touch the ground and keep moving toward his goal. The turtle’s goal is to get over this wall of a road, Americas goal was, at this time in history to get out of the depression as fast as possible. The New deal proposed by FDR was going to get them there and so would World War 2. After the turtle reached the hills peak he was confronted with a 4 inch high concrete curb. This is a very great obstacle that the turtle faces, but he pushes harder and harder until he reaches the asphalt. This could represent the wall that FDR had to climb to get the American people on his side and willing to try to get out of the depression. When put forth to a difficult...
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