Steinbeck’s earlier works, “The Vigilante” and In Dubious Battle are described with a tangibly cynical tone towards the nature of man, and the destructive potential of misguided “phalanxes.” However, his later works, The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row offer a positive and even hopeful view on the potential of these phalanxes. The reason for this shift lies within Steinbeck’s development of “influential actors” and their ability to cultivate democratic communities.
Key words: Steinbeck, phalanx, group-man, grapes of wrath, in dubious battle, cannery row, the vigilante, Berardino.
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