Great poverty is juxtaposed with a great appetite for wealth in The Grapes of Wrath. We watch as desperate economic times make some people, like the bankers and landowners, more greedy, while other people, like the Joads and other migrant families, become more generous. Wealth is defined as both money and happiness in the context of this novel, and while some seek to make lots of money at all costs, the Joads seek only peace and comfort.
Money makes people less human in this novel.
Ma Joad is a wealthy woman.