OtherPapers.com - Other Term Papers and Free Essays

The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man

Essay by   •  September 15, 2012  •  Essay  •  998 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,604 Views

Essay Preview: The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

As Darwin stated in his 'The Origin of Species', modern human beings evolved from apes approximately 40000 years ago (Wilkins). This scientific theory was astonishing and simultaneously debated heatedly during Darwin's time; however as time passed, Darwin's theory that human evolved from a more primitive species has been gradually accepted a valid theory (Wilkins). Although we often times use words such as "modern" or "civilized" to describe our society, have we really evolved into a species that we can call humane or different? This question poses one of the many great mysteries of the human kind, how different are we from animals and what do we have in common with the animals? We begin to discover the truth of this enigma in the novel the Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath is set in the 1930s, when the great depression had just hit America, forcing millions into destitution. The story is centralized around a family of ordinary but highly capable Oklahoma farmers called the Joads. In the novel the author, Steinbeck, uses the story of the Joad's journey to illustrate the underlying truth about the animalistic side of human beings. Although most people see the Grapes of Wrath as a retelling of the struggles the dust bowl farmers faced during their journey, the actual underlying brilliance is how Steinbeck uses characters to gradually depict how the animalistic side of human beings come out when hardship emerges.

In the animal world, disputes are often times settled with violence. Whether it is who is the strongest, or who has the longest horn, often times animals find solutions in the usage of violence. Similarly in the so-called "human" world, violence comes in all forms and all shapes as well. As Gandhi once said about violence, "Poverty is the worst form of violence"(Brainy Quotes), people trapped in poverty always more treated with more violence and hostility. For example, when Casy was organizing a strike, he was brutally murdered by a group of angry men, simply because he was a red. This quote "Shut up, you red son of a bitch. The man crushed the side of his head and Casy fell sideways"(Steinbeck 386) serves as a perfect demonstration of how people resort to violence as a mean of expressing one's wishes, instead of using language to communicate. The usage of communication to resolve conflicts is one of the many so called "unique" traits to civilization, and defines civilization and sets us apart from the animals. However, in this scene not only do the men make no attempt to communicate, they simply smash murder another human being without a moment's hesitation. This wiliness and eagerness to use violence to resolve conflict very clearly demonstrations how Steinbeck uses this scene to influence and educate the reader about the underlying darkness of our so-called "civilized" behavior.




Download as:   txt (5.7 Kb)   pdf (86.1 Kb)   docx (10.8 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on OtherPapers.com
Citation Generator

(2012, 09). The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man. OtherPapers.com. Retrieved 09, 2012, from https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-Grapes-of-Wrath-Animalistic-Side-of-Man/33661.html

"The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man" OtherPapers.com. 09 2012. 2012. 09 2012 <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-Grapes-of-Wrath-Animalistic-Side-of-Man/33661.html>.

"The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man." OtherPapers.com. OtherPapers.com, 09 2012. Web. 09 2012. <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-Grapes-of-Wrath-Animalistic-Side-of-Man/33661.html>.

"The Grapes of Wrath: Animalistic Side of Man." OtherPapers.com. 09, 2012. Accessed 09, 2012. https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/The-Grapes-of-Wrath-Animalistic-Side-of-Man/33661.html.