What are the two contrasting characteristics of mankind illustrated in this chapter of The Grapes of Wrath?  (Chapter 12)

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This chapter depicts three qualities of greed and generosity. In this non-narrative chapter, a family needs a new tire for the car and has  to go to a road-side chiseler selling cars and car-parts. The salesman attempts to sell the family a damaged tire for an exaggerated price. He claims not to have known it was damaged. 

This specific type of greed has been on display in many of the non-narrative chapters up to this point. 

At chapter's end, another side of people is put on display. A family that has been pushed off their land has and has no car has built a trailer and pulled it to the roadside. Someone picks them up and hauls their trailer to California, feeding them along the way. 

The chapter ends with this commentary: 

"The people in flight from the terror behind - strange things happen to them, some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that the faith is refired forever."

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The Grapes of Wrath

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