The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The masses of displaced farmers are no longer farmers: they are migrants. These migrants have been changed by the industrialization that pushed them from their territory, and are united by the hostility they experience in the places to which they migrate.
A new identity for Okies has been forged from the hardships they have endured together.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
The migrants terrify comfortable men, because these migrants hunger more strongly than the comfortable men can feel anything.
Human greed is no match for human desperation.
Themes
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Industrialists gain monopolies on the cultivation and canning of fruit, which drives smaller farmers out of business, and creates more migrants, desperate for work.
The cycle of greed and extortion produces more desperate people, suggesting that the cruel rich create the conditions that will lead to their own eventual downfall.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
The banks work against themselves. The money they spend trying to suppress rebellion in the laborers could have instead been directed towards enhancing the laborers’ quality of life.
Enterprise becomes preoccupied with preserving its selfish ways, and overlooks the value—to itself included—of basic altruism.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
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