The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

935 Words Apr 21st, 2016 4 Pages
A monopoly is when a firm sells a product that has no substitutes and is the only seller of that product. In the book “The Grapes of Wrath”, John Steinbeck really portrays the idea of monopoly in the peach picking incident. A firm gains monopoly power when they are able to set prices. This occurred when the Joads were fixing their flat tire, they got offered a job as peach pickers in Hooper Ranch by a well-dressed man. On their first day of the job, the Joads need to be escorted by police because there are people angrily yelling by the entrance. When they began their job as peach pickers their wage was five cents per box. The whole family worked from morning to sundown, only to earn a dollar on their first day of work. However, they were paid in credit and had to go to the company store in order to use that credit. Then that same night, Ma went to the company store to buy something for dinner. She realized that the prices for the goods were much higher than normal and was only able to buy some not so tasteful looking burgers and coffee. Then when she asked why the prices on the goods were higher, the clerk said ““yes, it’s high, an’ same time it ain’t high. Time you go on in town for a couple poun’s of hamburg, it’ll cos’ you ’bout a gallon of gas. So you see it ain’t really high here, ’cause you got no gallon a gas.” (Steinbeck) What he means by this is that since the area is isolated and the company paid only in credit, the only place to buy goods is the company store.…
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