Of all the injustices that are bestowed upon mankind, none are greater than the ones inflicted by our own species of apathy towards poverty and the hardships of our brothers. Mother nature also inflicts much damage to mankind in instances such as Hurricane Katrina. Steinbeck gives a view of human frailties and strengths from many different perspectives in The Grapes of Wrath, just as Josh Neufeld does in New Orleans After the Deluge. This book demonstrates how people can overcome destitution, team up to find solutions, and provide protection and security in times of trouble, similar to Aaron Ralston’s experience while trapped hiking. Steinbeck introduces people who are hard working and honest, that reach out selflessly with compassion towards others. However, not everyone reacts to austerity and oppression in the same way. Large groups of people can cause suspicion to outsiders. Ignorant people can be paralyzed by an incomprehensible fear of the unknown, and react with cruelty, prejudice, and hatred toward newcomers that are different from them. This irrational behavior can lead to unnecessarily violence and driving others to the ground, as well as becoming an alcoholic, which happened to Frank McCourt’s father in Angela’s Ashes. Depicted in this book is capitalism at its worst; landowners, corporations, and government officials exploit the poor and abuse the downtrodden.
The Grapes of Wrath is an American allegory of human suffering that takes place in a dark period of the history of our nation, brought on by the Dust Bowl migration from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, during the 1930s and the depression. People experience this tragedy in different ways. The landowner who had to remove the families was torn in turmoil; Steinbeck writes, “ Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that