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Influences of communism in Amerian culture - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Influences of Communism in American culture: Critical Analysis of “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Waiting for Lefty” Introduction Though neither of the authors John Steinbeck and Clifford Odets was self-acclaimed communist, their works, “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Waiting for Lefty”, speak out the core of Communism and ultimately give birth to some characters that are essentially ideal communists…
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Download file to see previous pages But the question is whether these two authors were committed to uphold communist ideals. Also in a round-about way, the question can be asked whether they were aware of Marxist’s influence on their works, or they continued writing the texts to uphold life as it is, while being indifferent to communist ideals. Since commitment to a particular political ideology is the violation of an artist’s commitment to the artistic portrayal of life as it is, the presence of communist themes in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” and Odets’ appears to be a simple coincidence. Therefore it does not necessarily mean that these pieces of literature would not have been possible without the work of Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”, but communist zeal happens to construct the major themes of the texts. Reflections of Communist Ideals: Coincidence or Commitment? Indeed “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Waiting for Lefty” are the fictional forms of Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto”. ...
Throughout the whole novel, Tom develops from an exploited and passive migrant proletarian to an active communist whose finalized decision is to “point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat” (Marx and Engels 68). According to “the Communist Manifesto”, this goal is one of the two criteria that distinguish a communist from other proletarians. Transformation from Oppressed Proletariat to an Ideal Communist With the progress of the novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”, the readers are provided with the scopes of being prepared to embrace the central character’s transformation towards communist ideals. In the beginning of the novel, the readers simply become introduced with miseries and distresses of a working class family that migrates from Oklahoma to California with a hope for better living. The readers experience the struggles of a proletariat’s world through Joads family and Tom is still an outsider in the world of communism. Meanwhile the emotional plot for allowing the readers to experience the growth of the working class parties is prepared. Also at the same time, the readers experience the conflicts between the workers and the labor-exploiter Bourgeois class. At this point the workers -to some extent, the readers also- feel helpless and desperately the need of being organized in the face of mightier Bourgeoisies. Thus at the death of Jim Casey, Tom fills up his position as a self-committed communist. Unlike Steinbeck’s attempt to uphold the individual transformation towards communism, Odets shows collective or class transformation. Through flat and simplistic characterizations he tries to say where there is class-oppression and class-exploitation in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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