Essay on John Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair: a Comparison

1138 Words Jul 29th, 2012 5 Pages
John Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair: A Comparison “The Grapes of Wrath”, written by John Steinbeck and “The Jungle”, written by Upton Sinclair are two books that have and will forever be impactful on American history and literature. They are both considered very powerful novels. Although these books seem very different, they are much more similar than they seem. Steinbeck tells the story of a family making their way to California amidst the Great Depression and era of the Dust Bowl, while Sinclair tells the story of immigrants working in the horrifying conditions of meat pack factories in Chicago in the early 1900s. Steinbeck criticized the commercialism of farming in America and Sinclair takes a satirical approach to the flaws and …show more content…
It seems as though Steinbeck takes almost a poetic approach in his use of imagery throughout the novel. The words flow together very nicely and almost lyrically. Steinbeck sets up each image in a way that allows the readers to associate and relate with the story or characters. Just as Sinclair does, Steinbeck gives readers a firsthand look at the trials and tribulations experienced during the era of the Great Depression. Readers can step into the story or the world of the characters so to speak. Symbolism is also quite prevalent throughout both Steinbeck’s and Sinclair’s novel. Symbolism is used in representation of something else, such as a theme or idea. Steinbeck describes a turtle crossing the road very deeply and very detail. The turtle gets flipped over on his back, but gets back up. This could be representative of the Joad family. Despite any setbacks, they continue on just as the turtle does and eventually makes it across the road. The truck that the Joads use to travel to California is very old and experiences many problems and malfunctions. This could also represent the Joad family and the fact that they persevere to make it to better life. Sinclair uses metaphors to describe capitalism. He uses the idea of capitalism as being represented by a huge machine and all the poor workers, such as those working in the disgusting conditions of
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