The Grapes of Wrath as Communist Propaganda Essay example

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The Grapes of Wrath as Communist Propaganda

 

The Grapes of Wrath may be read as a direct indictment of the U.S. capitalist system of the early and mid twentieth century. Although the book on the surface level can fairly easily be read as anti-capitalist book, it goes further than that. The book both implicitly and explicitly advocates structural changes in the economic institutions of our country. Thus, it may be argued that the Grapes of Wrath is communist propaganda.

Propaganda, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, is "the dissemination of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those people advocating such a doctrine or cause." The book fits this definition by attempting to
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The plot structure not only forces people to reevaluate their views on capitalism, the American Dream, and opportunity itself, but furthermore advocates social change. The book implicitly suggests communist ideals through the characters of Tom and Casey. Casey, in his questioning of Christian dogma, begins to reevaluate equality, in the terminology of what is holy.

"I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered, `Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, `maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit - the human sperit - the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of." (31).

Later, he begins to unite workers, and eventually dies trying to combat injustice through this worker unity. After this, Tom takes over Casey’s crusade. As Tom begins to truly comprehend Casey’s words and struggle, he explains what he must try to do in his final talk with his mother.

"I been thinkin' a hell of a lot, thinkin' about our people livin' like pigs, an' the good rich lan' layin' fallow, or maybe one fella with a million acres, while a hunderd thousan' good farmers is starvin'. An' I been wonderin' if all our folks got together an' yelled, like them fellas yelled, only a few of 'em at the Hooper ranch…" (536).

His final conversation is dominated by communal language such as "our",