The Grapes of Wrath V. to Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Although not exactly the same, The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill A Mockingbird are similar in that the major conflicts in each deal with two people groups, one of which believes that they are superior to the other. This is shown in The Grapes of Wrath by the conflict caused by the Great Depression between the government camps and migrant workers. In To Kill a Mockingbird, it is seen because of the common belief of white supremacy over blacks. The Grapes of Wrath, set during the Great Depression, shows how most of the government camp officials treated the migrant workers.

When the Joad family arrived at the first camp, they were given the bare minimum that was necessary for them to live. The house was small and they were paid only what they had to have. Soon, because of the large amount of people that had come for work, their pay was cut even more. This time, however, the pay was so low that it was impossible for all of them to live off of. The government officials felt that they could do this because they were the workers only way to work and provide for their families.

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This created tension between the workers and the officials because they needed work, but they were not getting paid enough to survive. The camp officials were able to use the desperateness of the workers to have a large amount of workers and only pay them half of what they usually would. The conflict between the officials and workers only grew as more people came for work and they continued to lower the pay. During the 1930’s in the south, the major conflict in the communities was between blacks and whites.

Many people followed the idea of white supremacy, which is demonstrated in To Kill A Mockingbird. In the book, tension between people is shown from the very beginning when Harper Lee describes how the people in the town work. The whites primarily stay to themselves and look down on any black people because they believe they are lower than them. During the court case of Tom, racism is clearly shown as the court still finds Tom guilty without evidence. Although not all, most people in the town believe that blacks are beneath whites and that they deserve to be treated as so.

These two books connect through the conflicts between people that they show. Although not exactly the same type of problem, it creates tension between people and has major effects in the story. The problem between government camp officials and migrant workers shows how hard the Great Depression was for certain people. The trouble between racial groups also show how hard the time period of the 1930’s was for certain people. Both The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill A Mockingbird are similar because of the conflicts between people that they reveal.


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