As steinbeck writes "merchandising was a secret to them" (chapter10). what does steinbeck say about the worldof business? Do the joads ever come out on the better side of a bargain? is there any such thing as a fair deal in the novel?
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II think selling everything to survive and paying companies just to eat was a motif through the book. The Joads and other migrant families were always in a state of desperation. This is how companies controlled them. Families on the brink of starvation will work for next to no money.