The Advantages and Disadvantages of being an Outcast in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and in "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Essay by Emmy1054High School, 11th grade May 2003

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of being an Outcast

As proven in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and in The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there is deep character growth that comes with a forced seclusion from society. Although there are many physical and mental struggles, this exilation also provides time to grasp the importance of the simplistic beauty of life.

The two novels contain different circumstances in terms of plot. The Grapes of Wrath presents the Joads, a family forced to move off their small farm due to the expansion and modernization of agricultural farming. They are among thousands of families who have to leave their homes and travel to California to find work in order to survive. In contrast, Hester Prynne, the central character in The Scarlet Letter, is shunned by her puritan colony after shaming her husband by having an illegitimate child with a man she, for a long period of time, refuses to reveal.

For this she is forced to wear a large scarlet "A" on her at all times. This letter, which stands for adultery, is a constant reminder not only to Hester but also to all the people in Boston.

The Grapes of Wrath contains many occasions of true hardship following the loss of the Joad's family farm. It is obvious when looking at the situation of being ripped off your own land that there are disadvantages that will come along with this. Before the Joad family leaves their farm, one can already see that this family is in need of money. "But if we go, where'll we go, How'll we go, we got no money."(46). The family is being thrown out of their home and off their land and at the same time they are left with nearly no way of...