Theme Of Empathy In The Grapes Of Wrath

1096 WordsSep 28, 20175 Pages
Crashing, banging, and screaming echo from the upstairs neighbors as the tv flashes through different channels.The screaming continues on and on until nothing, everything had ended in a large thud. The thought of calling the police or doing nothing swirls through the thoughts of all that could hear the commotion. The idea of helping others in their time of need is caused by the empathy people feel about the situation and will determine if police will show up or not. In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, the same ideas circulate through characters littered throughout the book. The dustbowl is in full effect with thousands of people kicked off their land, which causes them to all search for jobs in California. The people…show more content…
The words “To build a wall”(150) are emphasized by Steinbeck to show how people reacted to the loss of empathy by restraining it in a closed corner of the mind in order to fill the requisite of what is needed from occupations. In the end, Steinbeck had the owner men adapt to their jobs and block the flow of empathy or resist, but lose your job in the process. Individuals come from different perspectives on a situation and will have a difficult time reasoning with others due to the misunderstandings of the other’s thought process. Tom was talking to a gas station owner whose “tryin’ to get along”(126) but doesn't understand the reason for everyone moving west. The gas station owner is part of the glass bubble that in unable to fathom the reasoning of moving West in unsanitary conditions and vice versa can be said about Tom who does not understand the gas station owner’s perspective. Steinbeck describes the gas station owners perspective by him seeing “any them big new cars stops here?”(126) to further develop empathy for the gas station owner. The confrontation between Tom and the gas station owner further illustrates how difficult interactions with others who have foreign perspectives. The gas station owner mostly observes people who “steal stuff”(126) from his store and they “got no money”(126), so they revert to begging in search for some empathy. Over time, the gas station owner becomes deprived of empathy because he gives and gives,
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