In 1939, John Steinbeck published his new novel, The Grapes of Wrath. This book became the top of the writer’s creativity. The novel tells about unbearable life of seasonal workers during the economic crisis that has engulfed the whole of America. In the novel, John Steinbeck revealed all facets of his creative writing – attention to the language, pathos of conviction, and documentary vigilance. The novel is a kind of hymn to California – the writer tells about its history, nature, inhabitants, as well as the rich lands that were exploited by settlers in the middle of the 19th beginning of 20th centuries. The topic of land and the motif of the Promised Land search are leading in the novel. In this work, the writer shows California as a gradually unfolding and expanding artistic space. In the early books, its space is narrowed to a specific locale. Steinbeck tells about the life in the golden state progressively, each time revealing its new layer.
In 1938, Ayn Rand wrote her dystopian novel Anthem with traces of a deep influence of Zamyatin and Huxley. Anthem by Ayn Rand is the socio-political dystopia. This is a critique of a totalitarian society that suppresses creativity and human feelings. There are no personal names in this barbarian society: there is a ‘we’, but there is no ‘I’; nobody has the right to think, create, and choose their way of life. The protagonist discovers the electricity and proposes to use the forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. But people, who are accustomed to live in a primitive fear, do not believe in the power of reason. The protagonist will have to build his own world, realize his individuality, and learn to say ‘I’.
People’s lives can be influenced by the time they live in. This theme is especially prominent in two literary works, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Anthem by Ayn Rand. The time when both books were written is characterized by societies that had great gaps in social influence. Each book portrays characters of superiority and inferiority over and in contrast to others. After making an analysis of each of these books, it is obvious that the period John Steinbeck and Ayn Rand lived in had great influence on the characters depicted in the books.
Both writers supported polar-opposite views of how society should function. Their fight between communalism, as demonstrated in John Steinbeck’s work, and individualism, as showed in Ayn Rand’s work, was manifested in their novels. Rand and Steinbeck have set forth in their novels different views that continue to be discussed in the 21st century.
In 1939, John Steinbeck published his new novel, The Grapes of Wrath. This book became the top of the writer’s creativity. The novel tells about unbearable life of seasonal workers during the economic crisis that has engulfed the whole of America.