The Selfishness Of Man in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath Essay

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The Selfishness of Man
Cultural and economical pressures often lead people to behave corruptly. In John Steinbeck?s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, set in the dustbowl era, people act out of greed rather than out of consideration or kindness. Tom Joad and his family have been run off their land by inconsiderate, money hungry businessmen who do not care about the impact homelessness will have on the evictees. The story revolves around the Joad Family?s trip (joined by former preacher Casey) from Oklahoma to California, along route 66, where they expect to find work. Though Casey and the Joads are goodhearted and honest people, they are the victims of dishonesty and dupery when they realize that the jobs they have come so far to acquire pay them
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But what?ll happen to us? How?ll we eat? You?ll have to get off the land. The plows?ll go through the dooryard. (p.33)? This display of cruelty exemplified by the tenant owners shows the inhumane and pitiless attitudes which they possess. Their cruelty towards their fellow man epitomizes the inhumanity which exists throughout the novel. Along with acting inhumane, businessmen also act selfishly and greedily in the beginning of the novel. Knowing that there will be many people homeless and jobless, orchard owners send out flyers encouraging tenants to come to California and pick fruits on their land. The flyers call for a certain amount of workers, yet they are sent to many more people than they call for, causing inflation at the orchard, the orchard owners receive many workers, and because of the mass number of employees, they can pay the workers less than what was originally promised. The orchard owner?s wily ways shows the lack of care for their fellow man. They exemplify their greed and dishonesty, and do not care that others are starving while they are perfectly content. They exemplify the inhumane and selfish actions which are ever-present throughout the novel.

While being encamped in California after futile attempts to find good work, the Joads continue to experience the inhumane and selfish behavior of the businessmen. One day a car pulls up in the camp, and when everyone gathers around, the businessman in the car…