The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

1786 Words Dec 22nd, 2015 8 Pages
Pecunia Præstat Hominibus A United Kingdoms survey found that child-parent relationships are breaking down as parents put work before their children, especially in middle class families (Ross). This statistic can explain many of the darker portions of our culture, from the lack of complete families to the increase of drug abuse. Yet one may wonder how this is in any way connected to the novel, The Grapes of Wrath. However, both the statistic and the novel have a similar theme- Money being placed before people. John Steinbeck endeavors to teach us how dangerous and common this mindset can be through his novel. Although there are some instances of the Okies aiding one another, money before people is a central theme in The Grapes of Wrath …show more content…
The coroners were not too busy. The coroners ' wagons backed up through the mud and took out the dead” (Steinbeck 434). This sad excerpt shows how drastically the value of money and people’s lives can be misinterpreted. Since these doctors knew that they would receive no pay from the Okies, they simply ignored their pleas. However, since the coroners are paid to collect dead bodies, they are more than willing to come and take the bodies of those who could’ve been saved. This blatant disregard for human life, in unity with this excessive preoccupation on the almighty dollar, synthesize to expose to us how central a theme this truly is. Another reason why money before people is so imperative is that it serves as a major source of motivation for the human opposition of the Okies. When they first arrive in California, Tom is baffled by the cops behavior. When he asks his friend Floyd why the cops arrest and harass the Okies for no reason, Floyd states, “Sheriff gets seventy-five cents a day for each prisoner, an ' he feeds 'em for a quarter. If he ain 't got prisoners, he don ' make no profit. This (deputy) says he didn ' pick up nobody for a week, an ' the sheriff tol ' 'im he better bring in guys or give up his button” (Steinbeck 271). This displays how much this corrupt system of money drives the opposition. The deputies weren 't getting paid to keep order, but are rather told to arrest civilians regardless of innocence or guilt.
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