The Grapes of Wrath is an outstanding work that portrays the life of ordinary people during the Great Depression. The values of middle class families altered immensely, as they had to fight injustice and face all kinds of hardships and challenges. For instance, the vast majority of people inhabiting the Oklahoma state were to move to California in order to sustain their living. They were often called ‘Okies’ by Californians, followed by a rather unpleasant treatment due to the growing overpopulation and lack of jobs (Steinbeck, 2006). The author emphasizes though that despite the migration, the hardships of living in ‘Hooverwilles’ and facing everyday atrocities, middle – class workers had a greater sense of dignity than any of the Wall Street employees, who were only looking for profit (Steinbeck, 2006).
The major change lays in the notion of significance to give a helping hand to those in need. The last chapter of the novel depicts a scene of a family sharing their last available food with a dying man in an attempt to help him. People have changed from being egoistic and materialistic to compassionate and devoted personalities. For example, in the community of migrants, Tom is to realize that all the people surrounding him are under his protection. “The children were the children of all” is a key quote which proves that people have become highly compassionate to each other (Steinbeck, 2006). Moreover, instead of looking for ways of surviving and taking care of their own families, the main characters are concerned with forming union that would support everyone. The main idea of the novel is not to get rid of opponents, but create a healthy social environment at which every person would have equal opportunities.
Steinbeck, J. (2006). The Grapes of Wrath (p. 371). New York: Penguin Books.
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