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Examples Of Corruption In The Winter Of Our Discontent

Decent Essays
In the novel, The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck, the reader gets a first person account of the story of Ethan Hawley, an heir of great ancestry. Ethan is described as an honest, content man with a modest life. He's happily married with two kids. Although traditionally destined for greatness, the Harvard graduate’s lifestyle is reduced to working as a grocery employee in a store that once belonged to his family, but now belongs to an immigrant man. Yet on Good Friday, his livelihood is challenged by his associates and family. They encourage him to reestablish the legendary glory behind his family name. He becomes discontent and insecure when they criticize him for being unsuccessful when his name carries greatness for he says, “He saw something that makes a man doubtful of the constancy of the realities outside himself. It was the shocking discovery that makes a man wonder if I've missed this, what else have I failed to see?” (211) This pressures Ethan to desperately plan to regain the riches and superiority that his family held at once. This is where the moral dilemma confronts the American condition of corruption. This leads him into a plan that spirals out of dishonesty, corruption and malice behavior. The three part plan includes Ethan robbing the bank, reporting his immigrant boss over to the police so he can buy and inherit the wealth of the store and lastly manipulating a very important lot of the land away from the local alcoholic, Danny
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