Revolution in California?

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Chapter 21 describes how the "Okies" arrival was driving the prices down, and eventually there would be indentured servants on the land. The large owners continued sending out handbills to attract more migrants, even though there was not any real work. The large owners drove out the smaller businesses, and more and more people were starved. Steinbeck makes it clear that, "The great companies did not know that the line between hunger and anger is a thin line" (Steinbeck 388). Steinbeck clearly begins to suggest a revolution theme. The Farmers' Association drops the wages in Weedpatch, and government camps like these are frowned upon by the elite groups. The banks controlled the Farmers' Association, and the Farmers' Association controlled the police that constantly harass and intimidate the migrants. Although this foreshadows revolution, none ever occurs, and hardships continue for the Joad's and other migrants. Steinbeck illustrates that there is hope even through many hardships, as Rose of Sharon, even at just losing her baby through stillbirth, helps a starving man in a barn. "He's dyin', I tell you! He's starvin' to death, I tell you" (Steinbeck 618). Once one of the more self centered characters, Rose of Sharon displays an act of selflessness, reinforcing hope even during dire times.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/03/steinbeck_the_grapes_of_wrath_1/

1 Comments

Rebecca Marrie said:

I can't help but comment on the beginning of your passage. The entire time I read this section of the book, I felt an uncomfortable sense of familiarity. These Okies were starving, and searching for any method of work to support themselves. So, I pose a question: what is the relationship between Steinbeck's Okies and the Mexican immigrants of today? I find them to be incredibly similar. Though the novel itself is fictional, many of the concepts within it are true. Is what's happening today simply another another instance of history repeating itself?

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