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Social Injustice in Cathcer in the Rye and Grapes of Wrath Essay

Do you know what is really going on in our world? Behind the safety of your closed doors there is social injustice. Our past and present is a world full of unfairness. For example how the “Okies” were treated in The Grapes of Wrath, or how of the rich get richer and go to private boarding schools to get the best education in The Catcher in the Rye. Social Injustice arises when equals are treated unequally and unequals are treated equally John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath people, in places such as Oklahoma, were told that if they moved to California they would live a lavish life and there would be plenty of jobs, but oh boy were they told wrong. Once in California “ There was no order in the camp; little gray tents, shacks, cars were scattered about at random.” (Steinbeck) people were expected to live in camps like this and go to work for the people that owned the camps who lived in large houses with plenty of food to eat.

The Okies were put throgh social injustice, they should not have been promised jobs that didn’t exist and houses that were no where to be seen. The exact opposite occurred in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The rich were expected to keep on getting richer. Their kids go to top-notch boarding schools, not only that but society seems to think that the rich should be perfect and never crack, even the rich believe this. These are stereotypical social injustices. We all have emotions that we just need to let out. Holden Caulfield snapped the day his little brother Allie died from leukemia. “ I broke all the windows in the garage… with my fist” (Salinger). We all have emotional breakdowns just for most of us they aren’t as extreme as this. Not a single person on this planet is perfect and that is something that society has to realize.

Just because someone is part of the upper class doesn’t mean they are perfect in every time period in every class there is social injustice. You would think that in the twenty-first century we wouldn’t have child labor, think again. “Christmas Ornaments, Child Labor” by Marjorie Elizabeth Wood in The New York Times informs us that we still do have child labor. Children ranging from “ ages 8 to 14… were working in small, unventilated spaces for up to 15 hours a day, forced, under the constant threat of violence” (Wood) to work to make Christmas decorations. This is some of the worst social injustice that the twenty-first century has.

Its almost as if we are back in the late 1800’s with children working in factories to make supplies for us. This is something that is not okay: social injustice to the extreme. Social injustice has always existed all through out our history and will continue to exist in new ways. With the three sources that I talked about there was two different kinds of social injustice, social injustice that the lower class goes to that relates to work, and social injustice that the upper class goes through of stereotypical social injustice. The social injustices are similarly related in The Grapes of Wrath and the article “Christmas Ornaments, Child Labor”, but a different kind was demonstrated in The Catcher in the Rye with rich social injustice.


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