Historical Context of American Literature
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This paper takes a look at how three classic American novels, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby", Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath", reflect not only the drama of the "different Americas" in which they take place, but also the "different Americas" in which each of these novel's authors lived and wrote.
From the Paper:"These three novels share certain similarities. Each one deals with the idea of social class, of the haves versus the have-nots, and of the educated versus the uneducated. Social class, though a near-universal concept, is not the same in every time and place. Different societies have, over the years, had very different ideas about what it means to be a member of a social class, and even of what constitutes a social class. Tom Joad's hopes for a better life for himself and his family would have been markedly different if he Joad, or for that matter, Steinbeck, had been born and raised in India. Assuming the Indian Steinbeck never to have traveled to, or read of, America, he could hardly have conceived of a tale in which movement through the social classes was actually possible. The terrible privations endured by the Joads during the Dust Bowl were an experience common to any poor farming family living in the same region. Many real farmers too made the trek to California, seeking after improved circumstances. For people growing up in Oklahoma at that time, California represented a kind of earthly paradise. John Steinbeck knew California well. He had grown up there, and his own family had carved a living out of virgin wilderness. "
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Historical Context of American Literature (2005, November 08) Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/historical-context-of-american-literature-62103/
"Historical Context of American Literature" 08 November 2005. Web. 28 March. 2015. <http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/historical-context-of-american-literature-62103/>