… in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. (349)
Here, Steinbeck uses a metaphor that eventually names the book. Steinbeck says “the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy.” He uses the grapes to represent the people’s anger, and how it is growing like grapes. He says that they are “growing heavy for the vintage,” which sounds like foreshadowing. Maybe this has something to do with the talk of forming a union in the last chapter, and the acknowledgment that forming a union may lead to violence.
And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit — and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.
And the smell of rot fills the country.
The situation is worsening, and all parties are becoming tense. There is an abundance of fruit, but nobody can afford it. Because nobody can afford it, there are no sales of fruit. Because there are sales the economy is worsening, and the poor are becoming poorer. So although there is an over abundance of food, people are still starving.