Essay on Greed In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

Decent Essays
The Modernist movement took place in a time of happiness, a time of sadness, a time of objects, a time of saving, a time of prosperity, a time of poverty and in a time of greed. Two novels, written by Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, portray this underlying greed and envy better than most novels of that period. These novels, The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, show that despite the difference between the 1920s and the 1930s, greed remained a part of human life, whether superficially or necessarily, and that many people used their greed to damage themselves and others. In both of these novels, greed as a whole is negative, corrosive, abrasive, destructive, and apocalyptic. As an example, in Gatsby the namesake, Gatsby’s, desire for Daisy…show more content…
In Grapes, also, greed brings a terrible cost to all those involved. For example, the Californians, to protect themselves, greedily cover their jobs and attempt to force the migrants to leave, saying, “You’re in California, an’ we don’t want you...Okies settlin’ down.” (Steinbeck, 2006). The cost they pay is a loss of humanity, a loss of conscience, as no longer will the Californians help those in need, allowing for migrants and entire families to die and for them to sadly strike out against those who speak out. Yet the Joad family, at times, portrays their own greed. They take a job as a strikebreaker during a strike lead by one of the family’s best friends, John Casy, only to have Casy die and Tom nearly arrested again for murder. Also, the family shows greed by constantly moving in search of new jobs. As the family leaves the government camp, Tom, Pa and Al all have jobs, yet Ma wants even more money even though the camp supplies entertainment and, to an extent, food. However, the family wants more in their pocket, and so they leave that land of plenty into a dangerous, unknown land of hatred, fear, and anger and pay in many, many ways. Finally, the Joad family uses the dead Grandma to enter California, showing their greed and
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