In this "big picture" chapter, Steinbeck traces the evolution of a new way of thinking. He ironically urges those who "hate change and fear revolution"-i.e., the great owners, those who make up "the monster" of Chapter 5-to keep dispossessed, angry, wounded individuals apart, for no longer will these individuals think in terms of themselves alone. "[T]wo men are not as lonely and perplexed as one." In realizing their common lot-as, of course, the Wilsons and Joads have done in the previous chapter-isolated individuals become connected, and, in the new connection, find new strength. "I" becomes "we." Ma's near-prophetic words to Tom in Chapter 8 continue to work their way toward fulfillment.
This chapter describes the rift that is growing between the rich and the poor and the fear that the "great owners" are experiencing over the growing "labor unity".