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Stylistic Analysis of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck’s novels The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men allow readers to capture a glimpse of the time of the Great Depression in the United States. In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family members of Oklahoma, accompanied by thousands of other farming families, travels across America to chase a dream that lies in California. Their dream is to attain jobs and prosper off of their own land when once more. Nevertheless, they uncover only disappointments in California, with all of the operate already taken and the poverty just as extreme as it was in Oklahoma. In Of Mice and Males, the two primary characters, George and Lennie, build a strong friendship as they migrate to California for perform. Out of enjoy and compassion, George devotes himself to safeguarding Lennie from their hardhearted society, as Lennie suffers from a mental handicap and frequently finds himself in problems. Though the novels are organized in various stylistic types, Steinbeck makes use of the themes of pursuing the American dream, developing compassion for other folks, the value of unification, and the mass hardship and suffering in life in each The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Males.

In both novels, the theme of the American dream is present. In the heart of the Wonderful Depression, Steinbeck’s characters have hope and confidence that they will attain California’s wealth and opportunities, but they are never ever able to attain what they envisioned. They dream to someday make a profit of their own, but the reality is that the extended journey to attain one’s dream is most usually unrewarded in the end. In Of Mice and Males, when Crooks, the African-American stable buck, was left in the quarters with Lennie, Lennie told him about his fantasy of moving to California and constructing a farm with George. Crooks sees that in actuality, “every damn one particular of ’em’s got a tiny piece of land in his head. An’ by no means a God damn 1 of ’em ever gets it. … Nobody in no way gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It is just in their head” (Mice 81). Like in Of Mice and Guys, the dreams of the farmers in The Grapes of Wrath were distant and implausible to achieve, even so, the farmers never ever gave up on their dream to reach the west. As their hope to accomplish their purpose diminished, the dream of living a excellent farmer’s life in California also disappeared.

One more typical theme in Steinbeck’s two novels is the energy and significance of unity. In The Grapes of Wrath, the government and banks stripped the households of their land, food, and other possessions and forced them into a deep state of poverty. The farmers quickly realized that they had been powerless when they worked individually to fight the technique that held them back. Even though they still struggled as they worked together, the men and women identified their tasks less agonizing when their discomfort was shared, and so they banded together and journeyed westward. Unification was really critical in keeping the loved ones robust. Whenever one particular household member gave up on the group, the complete family members faced conflicts in between each other. Although they continued on with their journey after a member withdrew or had to be left behind, the household struggled to get back on track. If they didn’t have every single other to inspire and motivate one one more — specifically Ma, who always kept the loved ones moving with each other — then they all would have suffered much far more than they essentially did. Ma held the group collectively via her dominant role as head of the family. She was often the member to gather the loved ones collectively right after a loss when the rest lost their hope. Like in The Grapes of Wrath, the characters in Of Mice and Men, particularly George and Lennie, decide on to unite to overcome society’s cruelty. Lennie, who suffered from a mild form of retardation, recognized the significance of having George in his life when he stated, “I got you to look soon after me, and you got me to appear following you, and that is why” (Mice 15). Lennie shows that no matter what life challenges them with, he and George will always support one particular an additional simply because they need every single other.

In each works, Steinbeck portrays the theme of compassion in human nature, as the characters often make sacrifices for one yet another. Amongst the numerous relationships in The Grapes of Wrath, whether or not loved ones bonds, friendships, or mere acquaintanceships, compassion ties the characters collectively. Oftentimes, the compassion is shown by way of sacrifice, which tends to make the relationships even stronger. Compassion and love for one yet another mean that an individual have to look past the variations in other folks and find the items they have in frequent to join collectively. They have to also put one another’s necessities in front of his or her personal and contemplate the frequent advantage rather than pure self-advantage. For example, when Ma forfeits portion of her family’s stew for the young children in the camp, she becomes greatly selfless for those who appeared desperate for care. She explained to an upset lady, “S’pose you was cookin’ a stew an’ a bunch of small fellas stood aroun’ moonin’, what’d you do? We didn’t have adequate, but you cannot preserve it when they appear at ya like that” (Grapes 333). Out of compassion for the hungry children, Ma’s motherly instinct told her to assist them, even if it meant she would have to sacrifice her own limited meals provide. Likewise, in Of Mice and Guys, George sympathizes with Lennie by choosing to assist Lennie rather than leave him vulnerable to the unkindness in society. When George shoots Lennie in the head before the lynch mob comes to torment him, he shows compassion for Lennie’s well-becoming in the future. If George had allowed the mob to take him away, Lennie would have been lost by himself in society with no George, and he would have found himself in far more trouble. By shooting him, George rapidly ends the discomfort for his very best friend. Even so, he sacrifices the life of a loved a single, a dilemma he have to manage emotionally. This sacrifice produced by George shows fantastic compassion for Lennie’s feelings and excellent bravery for possessing the capacity to do anything so traumatizing.

In both novels, Steinbeck conveys the theme of suffering and living by means of severe hardship. In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad loved ones, along with numerous thousand other impoverished farming households, suffered the most from being manipulated and taken advantage of by the government. As the government and banks became a lot more greedy and authoritative more than the farmers, the farmers have been pushed additional into extreme poverty. The farmers resorted to whatever they could come by to survive via the hunger, pain, and anguish. The farmers began observing that, “in the eyes of the men and women there is the failure and in the eyes of the hungry there is a increasing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and… developing heavy for the vintage” (Grapes 449). Steinbeck expresses that as the folks are repeatedly abused by the bank’s power, they will at some point grow tired of taking the maltreatment, and they will wish a alter. Their tolerance grows thin as the grapes get heavier, metaphorically. The heavy grapes symbolize the burden the government workers put on the farmers via their greediness. Quickly enough the grapes will be ready to be picked for the vintage quickly enough, the farmers will be prepared for a revolution. In Of Mice and Guys, Lennie is repetitively tormented by his disability. Due to his compulsion for petting soft objects, he likes to carry around animals such as mice and puppies, whether or not they are dead or alive. He continually finds himself in trouble because he does not know his personal strength, and he kills several animals unintentionally. Lennie even killed Curley’s wife, who permitted him to feel her soft hair. In the end, this hardship led to Lennie’s downfall in the end, when the mob chased him for killing Curley’s wife.

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck’s style and format is exceptionally distinct. He makes use of the intercalary chapter format all through the book, alternating between an observation of society as a whole and a detailed description of the Joad family’s quest to the west. The intercalary style of this book is powerful in explaining the context of the story of the Joad household. As the loved ones treks across America, they are conflicted by the woes of the Fantastic Depression. The broad chapters in the novel supply a background and an evaluation of the rest of the farmers and government via symbolism and metaphors. Nevertheless, this style may be unappealing for some readers, as it drastically extends the length of the story and turns the reading into a seemingly daunting job to comprehensive. Steinbeck also uses Oklahoman dialect in the dialogue of the characters to emphasize the setting and time period. Tom encountered an Oklahoman man in California, who warned him, “Okie use’ ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it indicates you’re a dirty son-of-a-bitch. Okie signifies you’re a scum. Don’t mean practically nothing itself, it is the way they say it” (Grapes 264-265). This man shows Tom that “Okie” is just a word, but the way the Californians say it puts an offensive connotation behind the word. The man also speaks in a Southern dialect to emphasize the offense in the term “Okie” simply because he is an “Okie” as properly.

In Of Mice and Guys, the stylistic format employed is various from the other book in several methods. This novel is a story told chronologically about George and Lennie, two close friends who rely on a single yet another to survive the brutality during the Excellent Depression. The novel is a fairly brief story in comparison to The Grapes of Wrath due to the fact it focuses on only the experiences of George and Lennie in a modest time period. The dialogue in this book is efficient in telling the story since it creates a more personal viewpoint for the reader. By telling the story from the characters’ points of view, the connection among the author’s message and the story is much more precise. The author accurately shows the characters’ feelings, thoughts, and interactions amongst one another by way of their dialogue rather of typically becoming ambiguous through narrations. When George tells Lennie, “Don’t let him pull you in – but — if the son-of-a-bitch socks you — let ’im have it,” (Mice 33) it directly shows George’s proud yet vengeful attitude. George looks out for Lennie and guides him through the conflict with Curley. This is straight shown by means of his dialogue, whereas the alternative would have been a lot more ambiguous, indirect, and lengthy.

Although they have extremely various stylistic formats, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Guys have a number of related themes. The theme of pursuing the American Dream is present in each books, although they all endure through the destitution of living in the Fantastic Depression. Throughout the relationships amongst the characters, unity is specially critical, as properly as compassion for one yet another. In the 1930s, farmers have been repressed by the banks and the government. The two novels reflect upon people’s ability to unite and their strength upon performing so. The citizens, in mass numbers, have the possible to overrule corruption in the government and in banks, but the energy of the folks is rarely utilized with such intentions. If every single individual recognized “that companion fact: when a majority of the individuals are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need to have. And the small screaming truth that sounds by way of all history: repression performs only to strengthen and knit the repressed” (Grapes 306), then governments would no longer be so controlling in people’s lives. Steinbeck portrays that the government’s attempts to hold the individuals repressed only unite absolutely everyone with a widespread interest: getting freed from repression. Folks also overlook their capability to resolve issues a lot of believe they are not influential sufficient, but in reality, operating with each other is the most efficient form of opposition to the government. These days, several conflicts in society could effortlessly be fixed if every single individual worked together to repair them. Even so, most usually, men and women continue in their personal paths, and they are not willing to work collectively till the situation becomes an absolute crisis.
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