It seems that I only have a hundred pages left and one thing is blatantly clear about John Steinbeck's classic... It is a timeless literary work. Parallels can be drawn from the period it represents, the time it was written and the present.
It definitely is a powerful piece of literature (positively incendiary), it forces you to glimpse the underside of capitalism and will not allow you to avert your gaze. In fact, there was a scene in Capitalism: A Love Story (I caught the first few minutes) involving the boarding up of a house. The interaction between the man working on behalf of the bank and the people who foreclosed could have been taken verbatim from Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck shows unbelievable insight into humanity and the depths that others will go to exploit others for profit.
During the course of the three hundred pages, the Joads make it to California. From the perspective of the reader, the terrible foreboding that this land of opportunity is far from it. The Joads blindly follow their dreams, do not heed the warnings of those who experienced it prior and end up into a Hooverville. The Joads --of course-- exist as a microcosm for all Americans, blindly following the American "dream" and they see America for what it is... Corrupt and unsympathetic to the plight of the underprivileged.