A literary analysis of the American worker: Characterizations by London, Sinclair, Steinbeck and Rand

Nelson A Guertin, Salve Regina University

Abstract

This dissertation will examine the portrayal of the early twentieth century worker through the literature of Jack London, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck and Ayn Rand. Special attention is given to the role of technology as it is brought to bear on the worker within the prevailing economic system of laissez-faire Capitalism. ^ While London, Sinclair and Steinbeck reflect on the travails of the pre-industrial and industrial worker, Rand extols the virtues of the industrialist only. Her body of work suggests that the working life of the mid-century worker has been standardized along with the rest of the manufacturing world. This homogenization extends to the worker's home life and neighborhood. The literature of Richard Yates and Ken Kesey help to reflect the resulting alienation of the worker, and the individual, to his/her world. ^

Subject Area

History, United States|Literature, American|Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations

Recommended Citation

Guertin, Nelson A, "A literary analysis of the American worker: Characterizations by London, Sinclair, Steinbeck and Rand" (2011). Doctoral Dissertations (Off Campus access). AAI3483268.
http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/dissertations/AAI3483268

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