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The manifesto hence under this notion makes arguments towards the fact that developments are inevitable and capitalism has been rendered unstable. The intentions of communism is to promote such kind of a revolution and will hence promote and support associations and parties that are steering history in the direction of such kind of a natural conclusion. According to Maxi’s Communist Manifesto the eradication of social classes will never be achieved changes in government or social reforms. Rather the only way to beat them will be through a revolution (Marx pp 54).
The communist manifesto is hence built in four sections. The first one that discusses the theory behind communism in regard to making history in addition to the existent relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It is followed by an explanation of the relationship between the two classes. Whereas the third and the fourth discusses the flaws contained in others previous forms socialist literature and the relationship between communists and other parties.
Back to our main discussion the "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Waiting for Lefty" are to literary text that would remain plot less if we were to get rid of the ideologies of Marx’s ‘The Communist Manifesto which form the back bone of all most every event that s described the two texts. To start with "The Grapes of Wrath," Steinbeck wrote this novel in the 1930’s when America was still suffering under the anguish of the great depression after the first world War resulting from severe droughts that had been caused by the over cultivation of land by capitalist wheat growers who had left the lands severely unproductive.
The society had become downtrodden with many farming families having been crippled by the resulting draught. With great influence from the focus on the Californian society where he was born and raised up during this drought period, Steinbeck decided to explore the plight of Californian immigrants farm workers who suffered a great deal under the great depression. With the looming scarcity of food and no employment families travelled to California which became overcrowded with immigrant workers struggling for the few jobs available and facing great hostilities and prejudices from capitalist Californian land owners who had labeled them as ‘Okie’s.’This book does not only serve to explore the plight of these emigrants but also to criticize the capitalist policies that had led to this plight.
The above explain scenario is exactly what forms the plot of this novel. It explores the journeys of the Tom and Jim, the main character, and the Jodes clan to California who just like ever other family suffering under the poverty of the depression are trying their only hope to get their lives back together. The journey is full of agonies and on reaching California the situation is no better. They are me with a lot of hostility by Californians, living in camps overcrowded with immigrants (Steinbeck pp 33). Jobs are almost impossible to find, with the ones available paying meagerly making even a decent meal hard to come by.
Class struggles are clearly evident as the large land owners who fear the occurrence of an uprising take every measure to keep the immigrants as poor and dependent as possible. Their efforts to form a workers union are frustrated. The Tom and the Joad’s find solace in a government camp but soon the police want to close it down (Steinbeck pp 56). This prompts the organization of a strike at the camp and they find work else where but they only get it only because there is a workers strike. Jim and Tom who has just been released from jail starts organizing worker which leads to Tom’s death and now Jim takes it as his own initiative to organize the immigrant workers in a bid to fight the oppression of the capitalist land owners.
In this light it is clearly evident that Steinbeck has organized the plot of this book as well as presented the character in it as embodiments of universal class struggles or ideals. The plot and the characters in it are set towards achieving a kind of revolution to end these class struggles and have the poor who according to Mark’s communist manifesto are the proletariat and the land owners the bourgeoisie. The oppressed poor are fighting towards the eradication of the exploitative relationship that exists between them and the ruling class and hence bring about a revolution.
Similarly the case is not much different in Odets play "Waiting for Lefty." The text is a confrontational work that is very vigorous and is based on the activities of the strike that was staged in 1939 by the unionized Cab drivers in New York. The play is built in two stagings. The main one union halls where striking members are waiting to get a go ahead on a strike vote that is being hotly contested. The members are tire of Harry Fatt corrupt union leader who is arrogantly trying to stop them from striking (Odets pp 12). As they nervously await Lefty Costello’s, their leader, arrival strike committee members tells their tale on how they were drawn into the union in addition to the conviction of the strikes necessity. Each account as well as the whole idea of the strike demonstrates class struggles with the oppressed trying to achieve a revolution of the present oppressive institutions. Each account depicts unjust oppression and victimization that mirror the heavy headed attempts by Fatty to control union’s meeting. The play achieves climax with the reports that their leader, Lefty has been murdered. This erupts the activities of the meeting with members demanding a unanimous strike.
The organization of the unions and the strike are clear indication of a class of people the poor (proletariat) who are tired of capitalist systems who want to ensure they keep worker poor for them to continue providing them with labor. The workers are dissatisfied with the goings and hence want to turn things around. This is not by voting a new leader from the same class but by causing a revolution through strikes. Odets presents an explicitly politically inclined play with the ultimate goal of promoting an American communist revolution which just like Steinbeck’s novel dates back to the great American Depression.
The two texts stand out as chronicles of the depression and also as commentaries on the social and economic systems that led to it. Capitalism of the ruling class (the bourgeoisie) who had privatized all properties and means of production had incapacitated the poor (proletariat) by striving to render them more poor and control their labor thus maintaining the status quo. This is characteristic of what makes the plot of the two literary works. If the two are stripped the aspects of communism which they seem so vigorous to agitate then the whole constructions would be rendered meaningless. The text fall into a category of genre called agit-prop or revolutionary theatre which combines propaganda and agitation to idealistically harness the power that drama has towards steering a specific political cause. They are a creation of a people’s theatre for the revolution that will be followed by a new world.
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