basically a long rant about politics/economy in the 1930's on 2. the odd numbered chapters. the rest is the story of a family. the events that occur are not in any way pieced together by the end of the book and leave the reader feeling empty and confused. the only worthwhile chapter is chapter 25.
-government camps run entirely by the people
-the rich manipulate the poor
-talks about all of the horrible things that come with industrialization
-hints at a revolution and how it is inevitable when the poor get angry (see chapter 19)
-the owners call the migrants "reds"
-negative view of capitalism and its effects
2. "Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.
There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates--died of malnutrition--because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.
The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is a failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-chapter 25, best chapter in the book