Effects of capitalism

Capitalism West has been an important destination in American history. First it was a discovering target for Louis and Clark, later it became a spot for people to seek riches in gold rush. Whether it was for money or establishing settlement west has become an important place for American people. For these reason, one of the family who moved out west were the loads. During 1930’s, Midwest was hit hard by the great- depression. And to aggravate these effects dust bowls were sprawling all over Midwest. The Joads were immensely devastated by these conditions in ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck.
First the author shows how the all over Midwest families were the target of dust bowls because the land was over used and crops weren’t rotated. Because people couldn’t grow their own crops, they had to borrow money from lenders, only to end up in debt they couldn’t pay. Since the debt wasn’t paid their land was taken away by the banks and corporation leaving them without Job or income. To coup this process The Joads decided to head out west looking for an opportunity to feed their family. But their hopes will be overturned by the misery that awaits them. In chapter 19 of ‘The grapes of wrath’, Steinbeck summarizes how
Capitalism has left man-kind to turn Inhuman. During the 30’s the rich were becoming richer and poor were becoming poorer. There was a distinct line between upper and lower class. Whether it is Oklahoma or California, the wealthy showed no gratitude for the poorer. In Oklahoma the banks wanted to make profits from land by combining thousands of acres together. Same situation applied in California. But the land in California was stolen from Mexicans by the early “tattered feverish” squatters. Steinbeck uses distinct diction to assert that early settlers in west can be compared with incoming Okies.

As time went on, these squatters’ children had lost their lust for land. Even though their forefathers had earned the land through hostility, But for newer generation “the hunger was gone, the feral hunger, the gnawing, tearing hunger for land”. Author uses this run on sentence to explain how the lives of the land owners were effortless, because hunger is one of the instincts that motivates mankind. Since their predecessor had left them wealthy, the owners didn’t value the land. These owners had distinct themselves from farming. They had lost their lust for “a shining blade to plow it, for seed and a indmill beating its wings in the air”.
Steinbeck uses imagery to demonstrate the importance these tool would hold for a farmer, but the owners did not recognize them because they had separated themselves from farming. Since their connection with land is lost, the owners turned their attention to making money and profit. Steinbeck illustrates the shift from man-power to machines during the 30’s. One man on tractor can replace twelve families on a farm. With this revolution the man shifted from a farmer to a ‘shopkeeper’ and ‘manufacturer’. This transition made the land owners less sympathetic to land.
Farming is no longer their main occupation because “the crops were reckoned in dollars, and land was valued by principal plus interest”. Steinbeck compares rich owners with banks in Oklahoma. The owner no longer tarmed tor teeding their tamily or tor survival, but tor making solely profit. In contrast of rich owner the Okies only want to farm to feed their family and for their love of land. Steinbeck shows the owners in California had become so powerful “crop failure, drought, and flood were no longer little deaths within life, but simple losses of money’. But this reason would be death within life for a farmer in Oklahoma.
If a farmer had experienced crop failure or drought, it could mean they had to go into debt for feeding their family. The banks took the land from the farmers because of the debt. This resulted in mass migration from Midwest to California. Since the rich owner treated farming like industry, they did not care for their workers. Steinbeck shows that the “Owners followed Rome”. He compares the migrants with slave because the owner gave low wages only enough for surviving and not living. This shows the greediness of the farm owners. This also portrays the affect that capitalism has had on the rich owners.
In ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, Steinbeck shows the unpleasant conditions of working class during the 30s. During those times people from Midwest suffered socially and economically. Thousands of people migrated west to seek a better life, only to be left devastated. In difference from the misfortune farmers, the banks and rich land owners took advantage of new machine age to increase their wealth and profit. This in turn lead to industrial farming and left the farmers Jobless. It shows the selfishness of upper class and hardship of the farmers. The result of capitalism led to a chaotic situation between landowners and the poor.

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