Essay on Catcher In the Rye vs. Grapes of Wrath

Words: 1780
Pages: 8

Inherent Corruption in Society The inherent aversion to corruption in society often inspires individuals to respond to the issue in hopes of minimizing the drastic effects it may have on people. This shared disdain for such corruption is analyzed in The Catcher in the Rye and The Grapes of Wrath. Both authors address the corruption; however they do so from different perspectives they come to differing resolutions. Both protagonists in their novels experience isolation as a result of society’s corruption; however, Salinger’s chooses to isolate himself whereas Steinbeck’s experiences isolation inadvertently. J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath share a social commentary about how corruption …show more content…
So troubled by her lost innocence, Holden cannot bring himself to go through with it. Holden desires to drive out all evil throughout the novel, yet he realizes that he cannot. When Holden sees the words “fuck you” written in Phoebe’s school, Holden realizes that “If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the ‘fuck you’ signs in the world. It’s impossible” (202). The fact that he cannot save the world from society’s corruption is difficult for Holden to accept but instills in him even more passion to do all he can to preserve as much innocence as possible. Thus, Salinger suggests that society and its corruption is far beyond salvable despite great efforts. Society’s corrupting influence of others can also be seen through Steinbeck’s motif of society’s lies and deception. Steinbeck reveals the corruption in the car dealers as the Joad family is about to embark on their travels. The Joads need to get a car and such a process is full of lies from the car dealers who exploit the migrants’ necessities to make more profit. The dealers manipulate the migrants by the day’s bargain: “Makes folks come in though. If we sold that bargain at that price we’d hardly make a dime. Tell ‘em it’s jus’ sold” (62). The cars dealers are selling pieces of junk for ridiculous payments from the migrants who believe that they had missed the day’s bargain. Society’s corruption is also embodied by the land