The Grapes of Wrath

Why is it easy for the families in the camps to form communities?

Chapter 17

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This chapter focuses on the society of the migrant workers, a somewhat idealized society that forms spontaneously. It is an essentially communal society, one with rules and regulations determining polite behavior and enabling the various, disparate families to find common interests. In essence, Steinbeck uses the campground life to build a utopian society in which ostentatious display of wealth is shunned, equality reigns and no real ruling class emerges. The closest to a ruling class that emerges is the elderly, who rule from wisdom and experience.