Monkey Wrench Gang

In: English and Literature

Submitted By chc0615
Words 1165
Pages 5
Big business and machine
Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang presents four lawless protagonists’ eco-sabotage against overdevelopment carried by big business corporations. Abbey introduces necessary consequence of the corporations and capitalism on nature, showing that the damage they cause is higher than the benefits they produce. Encouraging resistance to global capital, he inspires direct protection of the threatened natural environment. The recurring motif, the resemblance of machine and big business corporations, throughout the novel serves to reflect Abbey’s argument that monkeywrenching should be directed toward machines and capitalism.
Abbey employs an allegory of transnational corporations to foreground his opposition to capitalism. When Doc, Smith, Bonnie, and Hayduke see the industrial wastes of the Black Mesa coal mine, Doc responds with an image of monster, “The whole conglomerated cartel spread out upon half the planet Earth like a global kraken, pan tentacles, wall-eyed and parrot-beaked, its brain a bank of computer data centers, its blood the flow of money, its heart a radioactive dynamo, its language the technetronic monologue of number imprinted on magnetic tape” (172). In the description, coal mining operation for energy production is linked through global capital to big business corporation. Doc reflects on the size and the destructive power of the operation as compared to the “Kraken” of Scandinavian myth that dwells at the bottom of the sea, rising only to herald the end of the world. Kraken’s mechanical “brain” symbolizes structural, systematic conglomerate of big business based on corporate interests, “technetronic language” the machines used for the resource exploitation, and “money blood” the capitalism and uncontrollable developmentalists fervor. Having several parts, each with a definite function and performing together,…...

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