Marxism In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath: Marxism The marxist lens is a common way to view John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, because of the many class and economic issues portrayed. When looking through a Marxist lens there are certain things to pay attention to, such as the interests and needs of the “working class”, and asking how the outside world affects the character. Marxist ideas in this novel are very apparent from beginning to end, from the illustration of social hierarchies, evolution of humanity, and ideological struggles and how to resolve them. The novel The Grapes of Wrath has many different examples of Marxism, one of the most predominant ones being the bank. The banks in Grapes of Wrath are shown as large corporations who only work for profit. The book directly refers to the bank as a monster multiple times: “The bank—the monster has to have profits all the time.” (Steinbeck 32) The bank is a monster that has gotten out of hand of the very people who created it. “The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.” This can be connected to Marxist ideas, because in the communist manifesto, it makes a point to talk about the large modern industry, which in the case of Grapes of Wrath would be the bank. In this period industrialization ruined the lives of many farmers as they lost their

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