Readers might consider redirecting their attention from the text’s critique of exploitation to focus more carefully on Steinbeck’s disclosure of labor’s increasing redundancy under conditions of industrialized production. For the novel situates unemployment as a result of capitalist accumulation. Through their historical exploration of the Great Depression’s impact on agricultural industry in the United States, Steinbeck’s interchapters specifically position a diminishing demand for labor as an entailment of capital’s accelerated investment in machinery.

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