The Grapes of Wrath

The last line of chapter 21 is "And the anger began to ferment." What does this mean? And how does it apply not only to these characters, but history?

in chapter 21

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To ferment means to "rot". Thus, their anger was compiling and getting ready to erupt. Steinbeck makes it clear that the result of such owner's tactics will be a working class uprising, the product of perpetual poverty and oppression.