John Steinbeck considered this to be the pinnacle for which all his other works were foundational steps.
The story was written for his two young Sons to be a valuable precious life lesson when they grow up to maturity.
On page 393 you can find the essence of the moral of this universal tale that speaks to all generations , past, present and future.
"vice is constantly re-spawned...virtue is immortal"
Below is a segment from the address Steinbeck gave in his acceptance speech when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Having read a lot about China lately i was intrigued by the observation on page 338 which is so applicable to the real clash of fundamentals between the US and the Chinese fall outs on Western Debt and the Chinese requirement to fund the out of control avarice and bankruptcy , both financial and cultural ..." every Chinese must clear his debts before New Year , start clean, or loses face".There are no excuses.
The Novel ends with a note of Great Redemption , no matter what has gone before , for how long , there is always hope for forgiveness and ultimately rectifying wrongs as long as the attempt to alter things is sincere.
Again , it takes Chinese wisdom to clearly define a Semitic concept to bring Harmony and Regeneration to Western Values as captured in the concept of Timshel.
The Ending of the Book and the Concept of Timshel is so profound that that very work and its meaning have many websites solely devoted to explaining and understanding it.One example is below:
A good way to end this is to give the last word to one of the very Sons this Book was written for: