John Steinbeck 's ' Harvest Gypsies '

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The struggle to obtain social reform in the United States for the working class steadily

increased with the urbanization of cities and the expansion of industrialization during the 1900’s.

This brought about the publication of several works that challenged the government’s policies.

As Upton Sinclair addresses in The Jungle, industry workers were refused the basic human rights

that the government vowed to protect. Harvest Gypsies, written by John Steinbeck just 30 years

later, brought rural farmers’ grievances into the picture after their land was destroyed during the

Dust Bowl. The rhetoric used in these works criticizes the exploitative working environment in

response to a strong capitalist agenda, discourages the separation of classes caused by the

‘Protestant Ethic’, and attempts to humanize impoverished and overworked communities.

Laborers in both the meat packing industry and the farming industry faced severe

workplace endangerment that the government deemed as ridiculous assertions in the nineteenth

and twentieth centuries. Frustration occurred among such groups as a result of long burdensome

hours with abysmal pay. Protests grew increasingly violent, such as the Haymarket Affair in

1886, which dissipated one of the most inclusive unions known as the Knights of Labor.

However, the falling of this union did not stop the push for reformation. Upton Sinclair, a well-

known muckraker, published a description of the conditions of these industries, naming

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