Grapes Of Wrath Government Analysis

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Brittany Como Mr. Foley A.P. English 11 8 April 2015 Differing Ideas on Government There are numerous opinions on the way government should be run, what it needs to be efficient, and if there should even be one at all. In chapter 17 of Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, civilizations were slowly and unconsciously created on the sides of the road. Families would stop and live together, creating microcosms of a society with rules to govern them. This expresses Steinbeck's point of view of government: it should be built little by little, from the ground up. On the other hand, Thoreau, the author of "Civil Disobedience", does not want a government and thinks that society can function better without it. These two authors, though in agreement on the fact that there should not be one overpowering ruler, disagree on how the people should take care of themselves in a society.…show more content…
In chapter 17 of Grapes of Wrath, he shows this idea through a very important analogy, relating the families that are traveling across the country to people coming together to govern themselves. When this occurs, "leaders emerg[e], then laws [are] made, then codes [come] into being"(Steinbeck 213), that all come into play naturally. They are not forced upon anyone by an all-powerful ruler. The people learned "what rights must be observed"(Steinbeck 213) and from this surfaced order and function. This governing system came from nothing and turned a group of people into a well functioning society. In a similar way, Thoreau threatened that society cannot function well if it is controlled by the government while the people have little to no power. He argues for the power of the many rather than rule by one big force containing the entirety of power. People will govern themselves if they are not left with any other

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