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Literature/Grapes Of Wrath Paper


Hey there,
I am having to write a paper for my Literature and humanities class. I wanted to write about how there was a stronger work ethics during the Great Depression than today when we are in a  recession. Could you please tell me your thoughts?

Hi Megan,

Well, that's a bit of a complicated topic. To begin with, you should realize that the entire idea of "the work ethic" is a politically biassed idea, mainly used by (mainly Christian) conservatives. I don't really think that there is such a thing as a work ethic; the idea is a construct. The only people who specifically have a work ethic are those who have been active instilled with one by their parents. The reason people have the will to work has to do with all sorts of moral factors and social and economic circumstances; all these factors cannot be reduced to a simple "work ethic" concept. Nor can different types of work all be lumped together as a meaningful concept called "work" (to which the term "work ethic" can be applied). Some people love their work, other people hate theirs. People are very different and stimulated by very different things, and only a few are lucky enough to get the kind of work they love. How much you like your work, and how much you need the income, are factors that are much more real and concrete than any idea of a work ethic. When you reduce all the complex factors to a "work ethic", then it's much simpler to claim that some people just have a poor work ethic (like, being lazy) while others have a good work ethic, but these terms do not make any logical sense; they are over-simplifications of a large set of many different circumstances. Human beings and our societies are far more complex than that.

Economic recessions, moreover, are all about the behavior of the banks and the rich; it has very little to do with common people and their "work ethic".

So I don't really know how to help you, here. If you still want to write about the work ethic, you should probably try to find an expert in economics to advise you.

Good luck in any case,
- Tue Sorensen


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Tue Sorensen


I am an authority on the complete works of Shakespeare, and can answer any questions relating to his plays, poetry and life. I specialize in interpretation, double-meanings and translation into modern language.


I was a top-rated Allexperts expert on this same subject several years ago.

Former member of the Danish Shakespeare Society, as well as an active participant in the scholarly SHAKSPER mailing list.

Three years of studying English literature at the University of Aarhus, Denmark

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