Revolution in California?
Chapter 21 describes how the "Okies" arrival was driving the prices down, and eventually there would be indentured servants on the land. The large owners continued sending out handbills to attract more migrants, even though there was not any real work. The large owners drove out the smaller businesses, and more and more people were starved. Steinbeck makes it clear that, "The great companies did not know that the line between hunger and anger is a thin line" (Steinbeck 388). Steinbeck clearly begins to suggest a revolution theme. The Farmers' Association drops the wages in Weedpatch, and government camps like these are frowned upon by the elite groups. The banks controlled the Farmers' Association, and the Farmers' Association controlled the police that constantly harass and intimidate the migrants. Although this foreshadows revolution, none ever occurs, and hardships continue for the Joad's and other migrants. Steinbeck illustrates that there is hope even through many hardships, as Rose of Sharon, even at just losing her baby through stillbirth, helps a starving man in a barn. "He's dyin', I tell you! He's starvin' to death, I tell you" (Steinbeck 618). Once one of the more self centered characters, Rose of Sharon displays an act of selflessness, reinforcing hope even during dire times.