The Monster is Greed

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"The monster isn't men, but it can make men do what it wants." (Steinbeck 46)


First, in a general statement about the book structure, I find it very interesting how Steinbeck keeps going back and forth between the unnamed farmers and the Joad family. The story of the unnamed farmers seems to give the reader an overview of what is happening and paint a picture of the typical tenant farmer family. The story of the Joad family then takes the general tenant farmer story and puts it on a personal level with specific characters to relate the story to. At first this back and forth method bothered me, but as I continued reading, I really began to appreciate this method.

I think this quote is interesting because it highlights the idea of the bank versus men evicting the tenant farmers. The owners claim it is the bank's fault that this is happening. However, I don't think the monster is really the bank. I think the monster is greed. Greed tends to be very powerful and as the quote says, it can drive men to do whatever is necessary to fulfill that greed. I agree that the men aren't really the monsters, but their ambitions and disregard for humanity certainly are.


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