Dehumanization In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Us Against Them In wars, in cruelty, and even in sports there is a force that allows humans to fight, to abuse, and to compete. We separate ourselves from our opponents; we dehumanize them in order to justify our actions against them. The examples of this are many, they are driven by fear, and they only hurt those involved. In Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist, he shows that humans prosper when they do not separate themselves from each other. In John Steinbeck’s book, The Grapes of Wrath, he shows the cruelties people are capable of when they do separate themselves from others and District 9, a film directed by Neill Blomkamp, makes clear what can happen when people dehumanize another species. Dehumanization bringing about destruction…show more content…
However, as the Okies see food being destroyed in front of them a rage grow inside of them, an anger that the Californians do not understand. The people destroy the food and both the Okies and small farmers suffer, the prices are high and no one can afford their food and the food rots and the California farmers gain nothing. The dehumanization of the Okies is hurtful everyone, there is no trade and therefore no gain for either party. Ridley’s point on emphasizing mutual gain through trade and cooperation is now brought into focus. Ridley states, “exchange is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes” (101). Trade is what feeds progress and prosperity. By dehumanizing one group of people, both groups lose the opportunity to grow. The fear of those who are different causes humans to create the idea of us against them. The dehumanization of another group allows unthinkable crimes to be committed; neither party is benefited by this separation. The Rational Optimist explains the gains of working together while, The Grapes of Wrath and District 9 show us that the dehumanization of others only hinders progress and hurts those involved. This human defense mechanism against the unknown is born from fear and breeds evil. We must turn away from it, reap the benefits of working together, and allow progress to unfold before
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