Critical Lens

Topics: Auschwitz concentration camp, Elie Wiesel, Nazism Pages: 3 (879 words) Published: October 28, 2013

Critical Lens
Helen Keller once said that, “...although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” This can be interpreted to mean that despite the horrors of the world, people will always fight oppression in order to regain humanity. These fighters are often credited with putting balance back into the world and maintaining a sense of identity, despite their adversity and in many cases throughout history, this is true. Two works of literature where this is so are: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Night by Elie Wiesel. Two literary elements that support this statement are conflict and symbolism. The lengths that some will go in order to protect themselves from oppressors is astounding and admirable in many instances.

John Steinbeck is a world renowned author who exemplifies his writing skills in The Grapes of Wrath. This is a novel about migrant workers during the Dust-Bowl disaster and their acclimation to a new life that is filled with social and economic discrimination. Steinbeck uses conflict in order to enhance his ability to accurately depict the migrant workers. The most prominent conflict throughout the story was the workers' fight to acquire jobs. The workers were cast outs in the new environment of California, and they were treated like so. All were given wages that were far below fair, but many continued to work as hard as possible to provide for their family. This proves that in the face of hunger and poverty, true determination and leadership emerge in order to maintain freedom from those who are putting them down.

In the Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck uses many metaphors to represent the resilience of the migrant workers. One such symbol that is perceived to be the most important is the turtle. At the beginning of the story, a turtle is crossing a road and in its' travels it is hit accidentally by a driver. This turtle brushes it off and continues to push on across the road. However, a larger truck is...
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