This article offers an exploration of what the social consequences are when modernity strips away religious-human relationships to the land. The two texts Black Elk Speaks and Grapes of Wrath both include moments of anonymous forces imposing systematic modernization on society. Particularly, I try to understand the controversial subject of societal rebirths, traditionally defined through employment and steady food source availability. This paper proposes an approach to societal rebirths that emphasizes the importance of spiritual connection to the land through a critical analysis of Bakhtin's theory of Chronotope and Leopold's theory of Land Ethic. On the issue of spiritual connection to the land I argue that the two societies of Black Elk Speaks and Grapes of Wrath experience failed societal rebirths due to the lack of spiritual connection to the land forced upon them by the systematic modernization they are exposed to.
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Rothstein, Lauren, "Societal Rebirth: The Importance of Spirituality" (2018). English Department: Traveling American Modernism (ENG 366, Fall 2018). 18.
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