Narrator John Steinbeck muses about the nature of all stories. He concludes that “All novels, all poetry, are built on the never ending contest in ourselves of good an evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.”
After one of the most tragic chapters has finished, The novel unequivocally affirms a belief in the ultimate triumph of virtue. The placement of this chapter is just as important as its content: we can overcome events as sad, as unfair, and as tragic as the death of Dessie Hamilton because human virtue will always triumph over evil.