Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle Essay

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle The global appeal of the so-called American dream of happiness and success has drawn many people to the â€Å"promised land† for hundreds of years. Although the American government preached equality for all on paper, it was driven primarily by money. Both Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck recognized this and used literature to convey the flaws of capitalism. Sinclair’s The Jungle satirized America’s wage slavery at the turn of the century and forty years later, Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath criticized the commercialism of American farming. These two books, often viewed as propagandistic, employ similar persuasive strategies: strong imagery, heavy symbolism, biting irony, and a proposal to correct the situation. Despite these parallels, however, the authentic diction and syntax of Steinbeck’s writing deviates from the inconsistent style of Sinclair. After considering how each author manipulates various stylistic elements, The Grapes of Wrath proves to be a more cogent tract. The most obvious rhetorical device in The Jungle is its powerful imagery. Sinclair offers repulsive anecdotes of work in the packinghouses. His description of the killing beds in winter vividly lingers in the mind of the reader. During winter, Sinclair says, the vicious cold of the beds caused the men to â€Å"tie up their feet in newspapers and old sacks.† By the end of the day, the frozen blood of slaughtered cattle soaked through their improvised boots so that â€Å"a man would be walking on great lumps the size of the feet of an elephant.† Sinclair also claims that when workers fell into the open vats on the floor in â€Å"tank rooms full of steam,† their absence passed unnoticed, often â€Å"over... ...beck describes them. Because the family concentrated on farming instead of schooling, their country phrases are fitting. Steinbeck’s convincing portrayal of Dust Bowl migrants grabs the reader’s emotions, producing a compelling argument. Overall, The Grapes of Wrath proves to be a more effective novel that The Jungle. Although The Jungle shares some of the same rhetorical devices, its unrealistic dialogue and long-winded sentences detract from its potency. Steinbeck and Sinclair both successfully use imagery, symbolism, and irony to persuade their audience. In both books, various symbols emphasize the deceptive nature of the American dream, and irony mercilessly illuminates the unjust aspects of capitalism. Ultimately, however, because The Grapes of Wrath is so genuine, Steinbeck proposes a solution for crooked capitalism more successfully than Sinclair.

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