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The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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How does Steinbeck denounce capitalism in The Grapes of Wrath?

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"Denouncing" capitalism might be a bit too strong to describe Steinbeck's attempts.  I think that he is raising some significant questions about the nature of capitalism and the individuals who are relegated to its margins.  In his depiction of the people who are out of work, searching for any notion of a dream in an economic setting where dreams are absent for many, Steinbeck raises valid points about the limitations of capitalism and how social and political orders have to recognize this.  Governments cannot claim ignorance and the inability to help out those who are victimized by the extreme "boom and bust" cyclical period of capitalism.

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