My whole work drive has been aimed at making people understand each other and then I deliberately write this book, the aim of which is to cause hatred through partial understanding. My father would have called it a smart-alec book. It was full of tricks to make people ridiculous. If I can’t do better I have slipped badly. And that I won’t admit — yet.
Source:Letter to Elizabeth Otis, expressing dissatisfaction with L'Affaire Lettuceburg — a satire he abandoned in favor of work on what became The Grapes of Wrath (c. mid-May 1938)