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A Marxist reading of John Steinbeck's The grapes of wrath: highlighting inequality issues through critical literacy in the ESL classroom

Jensén, Olof LU (2016) ÄENC51 20162
Educational Sciences
English Studies
Abstract
This essay explores how a critical reading of the novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) can inform teachers when discussing inequality issues in the ESL classroom. The main questions being investigated are how the novel The Grapes of Wrath reveals oppressive and unequal power relationships, and how a critical reading of the novel can be used when teaching and informing others about inequality. In this study, the material is collected through a color coding scheme based on a Marxist reading of The Grapes of Wrath. The themes discussed and analyzed from the novel regard unequal power relationships in terms of exploitation, land ownership, the margin of profit, and a struggle between the individual and the group. In relation to the literary... (More)
This essay explores how a critical reading of the novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) can inform teachers when discussing inequality issues in the ESL classroom. The main questions being investigated are how the novel The Grapes of Wrath reveals oppressive and unequal power relationships, and how a critical reading of the novel can be used when teaching and informing others about inequality. In this study, the material is collected through a color coding scheme based on a Marxist reading of The Grapes of Wrath. The themes discussed and analyzed from the novel regard unequal power relationships in terms of exploitation, land ownership, the margin of profit, and a struggle between the individual and the group. In relation to the literary analysis, practical implications and possibilities for educators are discussed and considered. A number of conclusions are drawn from the analysis in this study. Firstly, the literary analysis establishes that The Grapes of Wrath indeed can be regarded as a critique of capitalism. Secondly, by making connections to a modern day example of economic crisis, aims in the Swedish curriculum, existing theory of critical literacy, and Critical Literature Pedagogy, the analysis shows clear practical implications for educators in terms of using this novel when discussing inequality issues. While this study includes a thorough analysis of The Grapes of Wrath and practical implications for educators, it does not cover all aspects of the novel, nor all aspects of working with CLP in the ESL classroom. (Less)
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author
Jensén, Olof LU
supervisor
organization
course
ÄENC51 20162
year
type
L3 - Miscellaneous, Projetcs etc.
subject
keywords
The Grapes of Wrath, Marxist criticism, critical literacy, CLP, ESL
language
English
id
8901640
date added to LUP
2017-02-17 09:13:44
date last changed
2017-02-17 09:13:44
@misc{8901640,
  abstract     = {This essay explores how a critical reading of the novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) can inform teachers when discussing inequality issues in the ESL classroom. The main questions being investigated are how the novel The Grapes of Wrath reveals oppressive and unequal power relationships, and how a critical reading of the novel can be used when teaching and informing others about inequality. In this study, the material is collected through a color coding scheme based on a Marxist reading of The Grapes of Wrath. The themes discussed and analyzed from the novel regard unequal power relationships in terms of exploitation, land ownership, the margin of profit, and a struggle between the individual and the group. In relation to the literary analysis, practical implications and possibilities for educators are discussed and considered. A number of conclusions are drawn from the analysis in this study. Firstly, the literary analysis establishes that The Grapes of Wrath indeed can be regarded as a critique of capitalism. Secondly, by making connections to a modern day example of economic crisis, aims in the Swedish curriculum, existing theory of critical literacy, and Critical Literature Pedagogy, the analysis shows clear practical implications for educators in terms of using this novel when discussing inequality issues. While this study includes a thorough analysis of The Grapes of Wrath and practical implications for educators, it does not cover all aspects of the novel, nor all aspects of working with CLP in the ESL classroom.},
  author       = {Jensén, Olof},
  keyword      = {The Grapes of Wrath,Marxist criticism,critical literacy,CLP,ESL},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Marxist reading of John Steinbeck's The grapes of wrath: highlighting inequality issues through critical literacy in the ESL classroom},
  year         = {2016},
}