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Steinbeck uses this background information on California to show a social criticism, that history will always ending up repeating itself. At one point the land of California was stolen from Mexicans by the squatters but now wealthy landowners were being stolen from migrant farmers or ?Oakies?. This shows how nothing will change no matter how much times have changes or realities differentiate. The significance of Grandma?s funeral shows you how little the Joad?s or the ?Oakies? funds they could scoot by on. Not even the simplest of necessities could be met outside of food and water; this really highlights that desperation of the time period.
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