The Industrial Revolution In The Grapes Of Wrath

805 WordsSep 7, 20174 Pages
The Industrial Revolution may have changed the way America functioned all together, but not all of that change was for the better. The book “The Grapes of Wrath” is a great example of the negative toll that industrialization took on poor laborers. The main character, Tom Joad, describes all that is happening around him after his return from McAlester state penitentiary. During this time the rising of big industrial farms puts his family out of work. Throughout the story there is a sort of harmful domino effect towards the skilled workers of this time. Initially, the fatalistic tumble of events identified starts with the advancing of the industrial revolution. According to chapter five, paragraph forty-one of “The Grapes of Wrath” it states, “Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines.” Tom is referring to the tractor that he sees plowing the field he once tended to and loved. He uses the same word when he describes or speaks of the bank. A monster is defined as somethings terrifying and harmful, certainly never anything that is considered good or kind. His descriptions obviously give a very negative connotation considering he refers to them as a monster. Henceforth, Tom’s opposing tone is towards the banks and the bonanza farms that slowly put more and more hardworking, small town farmers out of work. According to chapter twenty-one, paragraph ten from “The Grapes of Wrath” it states, “And the roads were crowded with men ravenous for work, murderous for work.” It started with the increasing industrialization that then lead to mass unemployment of skilled laborers in particular. This is due to the fact that production began demanding anyone who could operate a simple machine when in the past products were made completely by hand. This angers and saddens Tom because for years he worked hard to provide for his family, now any dope who can push a few buttons is taking over the farm that he came to care for. The tone of longing and nostalgia becomes more predominant through his statement in the first paragraph of chapter eleven “But the machine man,
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