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The Importance Of A Person’s Social Class

941 words - 4 pages

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, has many social class conflicts presented in the book. The main thing that Steinbeck concentrates on is the fact that if a man had land he had a name, he had a purpose. Though some men in the 1930’s were living in poverty and having to struggle to provide for their family, they still had a place, their land kept them grounded, they didn’t feel like they were ultimately losing everything. Steinbeck tells a story about a family that got their land taken away from them and their struggle to continue on with their lives.
Land is the most valued piece any man could have. If they didn’t have land then money was hard to earn because you had no crops. ...view middle of the document...

Money is what defines a person’s status the most. If you didn’t have money you were on the bottom of everyone’s mind. The men that had the money and were living somewhat comfortably, felt more pride when talking to someone who didn’t have much of anything. When the Joads go to the gas station and Pa asks the women for a piece of bread for a dime she turns them down, saying they should just buy a sandwich instead. She refuses to give them the bread until they pay the desired amount of fifteen cents. “Mae said, ‘You can’t get no loath a bread for a dime. We only got fifteen-cent loafs.’” (Steinbeck 217) The only reason she gave them the bread was because she go yelled at. Though she did give Pa the candy cheaper than it originally was, she still made a hard time about the bread in the first place. This shows the social class difference in the novel. Later on in the story, when the Joads get to the camp in California, there were cops there that treat them horribly, they think they own everything, that they can boss them around and tell them what to do. Finally, Ma sets one straight by threatening him with a wooden spoon.
Men have to earn enough money to provide for their family, or themselves. Owning your own land almost always equals out to providing for yourself, because you get to decide how many crops you sell and how many you can keep for yourself. This is why owning your own land is...

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