Government Camps In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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People who were living in the Midwest were forced to migrate because of the harsh environment that was caused from the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Migrants decided to move to California because they viewed it as a “paradise” that will be their savior against poverty and famine. When migrants got to California, they struggled with surviving and needed a place that would accommodate their needs. Migrants have needs of shelter, sanitation, and nutrition. Migrants also need to feel like they have a stake in a community and stability. There are two major types of camps which are government camps and speculative farms. Government camps were created to fulfill the physical and emotional needs of migrants because speculative farms could not.…show more content…
Steinbeck himself writes, “The tent is full of flies clinging to the apple box that is the dinner table, buzzing about the foul clothes of the children, particularly the baby, who has not been bathed nor cleaned for several days” (Steinbeck 9). In other words, Steinbeck believes that speculative camps are not able to treat the migrants with enough respect to at least give them a sanitary place to live. Government camps create a cleaner environment for the migrants than speculative farms. There is a less chance of migrants to get a disease or die if there are ways for them to keep clean. Government camps often have permanent structures such as toilets and showers, while speculative farms do not. Even though government camps are cleaner than speculative farms, both camps do not have a sanitary way for a woman to give birth to a…show more content…
According to Steinbeck, “Before he came to the camp he had been policed, hated and moved about. In the Federal camps every effort of the management is expended to give him his place in society” (Steinbeck 20). Steinbeck’s point is that speculative farms have no trust or faith in the migrants while government camps allow them to have some degrees of freedom. Speculative farms herd the migrants like animals, while government farms treat them like humans and make sure that they know that they are helpful to society and acknowledged for the work they

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