Steinbeck's view of humanity is that people are a product of their socio-economic system. His novel advocates for a world in which it is easier for people to be good because social and economic structures are in place that treat people humanely and provide for their basic needs. People have a basic worth in his eyes just because they are human.
In a dog-eat-dog capitalist system based on competition, people will engage with each other in a brutal fight for survival. If people are taught that other people are widgets to be used for their own gain, they will respond by doing that. Steinbeck critiques the heartlessness of a system that drives people like the Joads away from their homes during the Dustbowl and then exploits them mercilessly.
Steinbeck is exposing the cruelty of the capitalist world of the...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 414 words.)