What is the message in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath?

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playsthething's profile pic

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Certainly, the idea of people pulling together to survive tough times is an important theme of Steinbeck's book.  You could extrapolate that out that people will always have a better quality of life if they focus on the community around them, rather than on the individual.

Related to that is the theme of hope.  Even though the book paints a really horrible picture of the migrant workers' lives, they are ever hopeful that it will get better.  That is another way that people are able to survive the tough times.  As Studs Terkel said, "hope dies last."  

Last, you could make a case for the idea that Steinbeck is criticizing the class system - the powerlessness of the poor vs. the strength of the rich/dominating.

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