So far in The Grapes of Wrath the themes have had a trend to still last into todays modern world. With this in mind one recurring idea is big-time businesses steamrolling individuals. Three of the most evident point were the pushing of middle-class people to poverty, corruption in the work place, and the helplessly outmanned individuals attempting to stand up to these corporations. Although Steinbeck sets up the setting of The Grapes of Wrath with the citizens of the Midwest being extremely affected by the Dust Bowl, it was the people that were ore fortunate that made everything as bad as it was.
This, plus no crops, no money, and not being able to pay mortgages and other bills resulted in a colossal amount of foreclosures, which in the book causes a mass exodus to California. In the modern world this is exactly what happened in 2011, over 1. 2 million households were lost to foreclosures. Another point was that in The Grapes of Wrath the Californian government was attempting to keep migrant workers from coming into the state. This is illegal and was put in place because of the people at the top didn’t have enough obs to give to the people towards the bottom.
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Similarly, in Somalia when the government was taken over by terrorists, no one was allowed to leave the country without risking getting killed because the of leader’s personal opinion on other religions. This common idea of man building flames to the inevitable fire is one that still takes place today. Governments take advantage of their people to save their skin but businessmen are also to blame. In the book, A1, Tom, Uncle John, and Pa go to town to sell the horses, wagon, and the furniture from the house.
In exchange for all of these items they get 18 dollars, which even in this setting is definitely an example of the average joe getting taken advantage of. This kind of scamming happens constantly. There is a reason undercover shows exist to see if a business is legitimate or not. With this misguidance comes deception, and in chapter seven it’s showcased brilliantly. The whole section is about how car salesmen use people’s lack of knowledge or options against them.
These tactics include talking fast, making the customer feel bad, argeting the woman of the house, and telling people a low price outside of the dealership but then raising it once inside. One common usage of this trickery in the modern world is infomercials. A lot of them do not tell the shipping price or say that an item is x amount of payments for y amount of dollars. Although it is not as common for small businesses to lie and cheat nowadays it is still there. The last, but probably most important show of this theme is the slightly sad attempt of an individual person trying to win against these corporation giants.
One really great example is with Muley Graves staying in his old town after he and his family were kicked off the land. Even though the cops are after him and part of him thinks he can show them by staying on the land, he is not doing anything. Another show of this in the book and the modern world is Pretty Boy Floyd and an Australian man. Both of these men stole from banks and gave the money to people who had lost man was convicted. All of these topics are proof that hot shot businesses will do anything to keep their eads above water.
Pushing fairly successful people to poverty, business people using deception to get ahead, and one person trying to win against a whole group of metaphorical sharks are Just three of a few other points that could have be hit over this theme. Even though this book was written over seven decades ago, this idea is still familiar to way too many people for the United States. Once these sharks stop using normal people as fish food then maybe business medacity will become a thing of the past.