Machinery vs. Human Characteristics in Grapes of Wrath

Topics: Human, John Steinbeck, Technology Pages: 2 (712 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Machinery vs. Human characteristics
Humans and machinery have one major difference that sets them apart: emotions. Machines don’t feel emotions the way humans do , or have characteristics like humans. In chapter 5 of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, Steinbeck is portraying a land owner giving the bad news to a tenant farmer that he is being kicked off his land, who does not take it lightly. Throughout the chapter , Steinbeck is depicting the idea that machinery is void of all human characteristics and emotions.

As humans becomes less powerful in the time period of Steinbecks novel , machinery is taking over their jobs. “The tenant system won’t work anymore. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop .” (Steinbeck 33) Technology affects everything more and more as the decades pass. With the progressing technological advantages , farming equipment has become cheaper and more easily attainable. Hiring one man for a job twenty people used to do, leaves the unemployment rate to skyrocket. The only thing affected by this was the people. As long as the bank got the money to continue to run it didn’t care whose home or land it took. “…..a bank or a company can’t do that, because those creatures don’t breathe air, don’t eat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money.” (Steinbeck 32) The bank is technology that was created by man , but not controlled by man any longer. Banks thrive on money because it’s the only way they stay in control. Just like tenant farmers eat meat and breathe , banks expand and live on interest money and profits of companies. As a machine , banks don’t have any emotional connection with humans which make the reader not have a personal connection like they would with a character. When Steinbeck continuously refers to the bank as “the monster” in the chapter, he sets up the readers mind to automatically disconnect and refrain from forming a liking to the...
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