Liberalism vs. Social Darwinism in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

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Essay #: 052153
Total text length is 5,692 characters (approximately 3.9 pages).

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The beginning:
Liberalism vs. Social Darwinism in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath
The struggles of the 
Joad
 family in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath demonstrate the means by which society works to divide the poor and the rich, as well as to divide the weak from the strong. In addition, however, Steinbeck’s novel is also a demonstration of the liberalism that was in effect at the time that it was written.  According to John 
Bodnar
, “both Hollywood and the New Deal did not hesitate to debunk the glories of unfettered capitalism” (41) by telling the tale of this single “disoriented” family of “common and sturdy American people” (
Bodnar
 42). Although falling short of proposing socialism as a way of life, Steinbeck illustrates his position in favor of...
The end:
.....ers and the government and the employers better illustrates the director’s--or the author’s--belief in liberalism as a solution to society’s ills. The truth, of course, is that neither of these solutions work for the 
Joad
 family. The ending of this movie is bleak; the family has little chance to succeed based on either “solution” that presents itself.
Works Cited
Bodnar
, John. Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
Grapes of Wrath. Dir. Frank Capra. 
Perf
. Henry Fonda, Jane 
Darwell
, John 
Carradine
, Charley 
Grapewin
, and 
Dorris
 Bowdon. Miramax,1940.
Kevles
, Daniel. “In the Name of Darwin.” Evolution. PBS.org. 2001. 19 May 2009. .