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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath


by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath Theme of Wealth

(Click the themes infographic to download.)

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.

Questions About Wealth

  1. Who is making money in the world of this novel?
  2. What examples of wealth do we see in The Grapes of Wrath?
  3. How do the landowners talk about the banks when they force tenant farmers off of their land?
  4. How is wealth defined?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Money makes people less human in this novel.

Ma Joad is a wealthy woman.

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