15 February 2015
Many years ago author, John Steinbeck wrote a novel known as The Grapes of Wrath.
The novel was published on April 14, 1939.
The Grapes of Wrath
is about the Joad family and
their trip to California to try to find a better life than they had in Oklahoma. Through the writing of the novel John Steinbeck fulfills the role of an artist according to James Baldwin. James Baldwin wrote “The Creative Process”
in 1962. Baldwin's essay describes an author's role and what is needed to fulfill that role. The two pieces of literature are connected through The Great Depression era. During The Great Depression many families struggled to find what they needed to survive, Baldwin and Steinbeck's writings both showed that in order to get issues fixed than they need to make it out there for the public to see. The public needs to see that they need to take action to make society a better place. In his theme of dehumanization, Steinbeck fulfills his role of an artist according to James Baldwin. Steinbeck describes dehumanization through the way the police treat the family, the mistreatment of the jobseekers, and the harsh treatment singled out to the people who are trying to make a better living in California. John Steinbeck portrays the theme of dehumanization through the treatment of the men and women throughout the book that are looking for jobs. In the novel finding a job wasn't easy and when the travelers asked they would be treated as if they were animals. John Steinbeck picks up the theme of dehumanization in the seen where the men go into the store and talk to the
employees and ask for the possibility of getting a job. The employee states "So you're lookin' for work. What ya think ever'body else is lookin' for? Di'monds? What you think I wore my ass down to a nub lookin' for?" (Steinbeck 312). The quote describes the employees treating the workers as if they were nothing but trash. The people looking for jobs are looked as scum compared to the people with jobs already. The employees do not look back to the fact that they were once in the same position but now they think they are supremes. Steinbeck used the theme of dehumanization to show that the men and women of the 30's and 40's were treated with disgust and not how they should have been treated. Steinbeck shows that America is being taken over by the rich and people with jobs.
Another example of dehumanization is when the higher powers in the world take out there harshness on one individual, not many. The higher people tend to cause issues with the lower citizens and make one of them have a treacherous time going through their treatment. The stranger says "They ain't rainsin' hell with no two hundred men. They're pickin' on one man." (Steinbeck 456). The quote states that the higher people take out everything on just one poor person. It shows the inhumanity shown throughout the time era and how one person is targeted for hate for being in the low class. Only the people who have jobs were treated with respect and honor like they were actual human beings. The poor jobless people were treated like trash. Anyone in society that did not have a job was walked on. The issue with the way society is targets the less fortunate whereas it should be dealt with so that the less fortunate have more support on getting through the rough times they have. Steinbeck shows dehumanization through the unemployed people because he wants the world to see how people who aren't as fortunate as others are treated throughout society. Society is taken over by the higher figures in America and
with that being how America is, the families that are poor and can not find a job are treated as if they do not exist.
Lastly the last main use of dehumanization through the novel is when the police man ...
Cited: Steinbeck, John.
The Grapes of Wrath
. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
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