Throughout history, human beings have been motivated by self-interest in order to overcome,

1800 WordsApr 23, 20198 Pages
Throughout history, human beings have been motivated by self-interest in order to overcome, succeed, and progress. This has happened so much so that some have argued that greed is an intrinsic part of human nature, and therefore establishing a society that goes against greed is utopian. Yet, rejecting human nature altogether is not a viable answer. Others contend that altruism and greed are equal and dual powers. In fact, history has shown that during the Great Depression it is the perpetuation of avarice that drives individuals to create a system that sinks thousands into poverty. In contrast, it is also the idea and action taken by individuals that prove the role of humans to help each other as a necessity. In The Grapes of Wrath,…show more content…
The Joads, realizing their competitive environment as well as dwindling resources, participate in mutualism both within and beyond their family dynamic. For example, when landowners overload the pool of possible farm workers, they pit individual against individual, constructing an increasingly urgent struggle for existence. However, by the time they begin to move westward, “each member of the family grew into [their] proper place, grew into [their] duties; so that each member, old and young, had [their] place … each member had [their] duty and went to it without instruction” (Steinbeck 195). The families who become one family know the value of laws to protect the unit, to protect the bonds that they form. The spontaneous order that develops in the novel demonstrates a natural survival strategy, a response recommending the merging of the individual into a greater whole. In short, the Joads realize that in such precarious times, the family consists of anyone who is in need versus the individualistic-minded thinking. Steinbeck explores the incorporation of individuals who normally compete for survival into a part of a larger, more viable whole. At first glance, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck would seem to have little in common with Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. However, Out of the Dust tells of the deep misgivings about
Open Document