Discrimination In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Humans victimize those who are different. Whether because of one’s race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, those who do not conform to the majority often face some form of discrimination. History demonstrates this in countless ways: with the Holocaust, with slavery, and with women’s rights, simply because people distrust the foreign and unknown. When the author John Steinbeck wrote most actively, around the 1930s, the Great Depression raised discrimination against migrant workers, and racist attitudes persisted. The characters Steinbeck wrote about reflect this, as they face hardships, and struggle to remain strong and united. In John Steinbeck’s works The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, he argues that people must fight against discrimination to achieve their dreams, through Tom Joad’s dream of reforming society and Crooks's dream of owning his own place. For instance, Tom Joad must confront discrimination to achieve his dream of reforming society. To illustrate, when the Joads cannot pay their rent on the land, the bank comes to seize it, described as: “It's the bank. A bank isn't like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn't like a man either. That's the monster” (Steinbeck GOW…show more content…
Tom transitions from helplessly watching as the bank targets him and his family to becoming a voice for change. Crooks, in contrast, must watch as others try and fail to achieve their dreams, while he remains stuck on the farm, unable to leave. Steinbeck’s works reflect discriminatory and distrustful attitudes prevalent in the 1930s. In the words of Slim, a character from Of Mice and Men, “Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other” (OMM 35). These represent but two examples of this larger message about human nature, distrust spawned by discrimination. Humans doubt those who are

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