The Grapes of Wrath James D. Zook Chapter 1 In the beginning of the chapter the book Steinbeck discusses the earth. It tells how dry the soil is and how even walking stirred up a dust cloud. It tells how the people have adapted such as wearing mask and goggles to protect the air they breathe. The people were devastated by the dust storms that block out the sun and the stars. The land is dry and cracked, the crops are withered and dieing; much like the peoples spirits. Chapter 2 The chapter starts out at a truck stop. Steinbeck implies the importance of a truck stop to truckers. It provides a driver conversation and entertainment with people.
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The workers are to the driver a distant family. Truck stops provide companionship with people in the same industry and know what it feels like. This is where Steinbeck introduces Tom Joad. Tom and the driver are both dressed in new clothes but, unlike the driver Toms clothes came from McCalaster. McCalaster is a prison where he spent four years, in punishment for homicide. Tom was at the truck stop looking for a ride. He sat on the running board of a rig, until the driver came out. Tom questioned if the owner of the truck would actually stop him from giving Tom a ride. The driver gave in and let Tom ride along.
Chapter 3 This chapter was first about the dry grasses along a highway, and then about a turtle. I think the significance of the turtle in the chapter is to show that all living things must keep moving to survive. Also, to show that there are two types of people in this world, kind people and mean people. When the turtle was on the road a lady tried to miss hitting the turtle. While a man swerved to hit it; thus flipping the turtle over on his back. The turtle struggled back on to his stomach and continued on. Chapter 4 Tom was walking down a gravel road on his way home and picked up a turtle as a present for his brother and sister.
As he went along he grew tired from the hot Oklahoma sun and stopped at a tree along the road and met an old friend named Jim Casy. Jim used to be a preacher but, had lost the calling. Now Jim just bummed around the area and theorized about life. The only information Jim was able to give Tom, was that things were changing and people were leaving, due to the drought. In the end of the chapter Jim decided to go with Tom to his old house to visit. Chapter 5 The chapter discussed a political monster. Steinbeck talked about the banks and how the banks ordered the people off the land. The men could do nothing.
The wanted to rotate the crops but, they were out of time. There was nothing left that they could do. The corporations were the monsters and the banks worked for the corporations. The banks sent out tractors at the corporate commands. They sent tractors to till the soil and make it into one big field, plowing over anything it the way; and the families fled. Chapter 6 Tom and Casy went to the house and found it deserted. The house was leaning and knocked off its foundation. The tools were gone, the water trough dry and cracked and the well dry. There was cotton planted right up around the house where there never was any before.
The only thing that was left was a gray cat. As they sat on the porch a man came along, just walking created a huge cloud of dust. The mans name was Muley graves, he had lost his farm also but decided to stay. Tom was lucky that Muley stopped, Muley explained how a man came and told them kindly to get off the land and the man was sorry but it wasnt his decision. He also brought along rabbits that they cleaned and ate for dinner. After dinner a deputy showed up, and they ran out to the cotton field and hid. The deputy would not come out in the field, because Muley had hit him one time.
After the deputy left they went down by the creek and slept in a shallow cave. Chapter 7 The chapter discusses the car sales men. It talks about how they take up peoples time then make them feel bad so they will buy something. Or how they will put saw dust in the rear end and make them sound good. The salesmen are making huge profits buying cars for $10 then selling them for $75. The people buy them because they are desperate for transportation to California. The people will buy a car, cut off the back and make it into a truck, then pile people on all in their great despair.
Chapter 8 In the morning Tom and Jim walk to Uncle Johns house, where everyone is staying. They walk up on the yard quietly, and as they grow closer they see the men working and loading a truck. Tom first meets his father, at first his father did not realize it was him; but, when he did he was over joyed. They went into the house and reunited with his mother. Everyone was asking him if he busted out of prison, but Tom was paroled. Toms grandparents kept saying “Praise god for victory! ” The family was leaving in the morning to go to California. Tom, decided to violate his parole and go with them to California.
They sold everything they owned and bought a car and turned it into a truck. They were going to a better place, to pick fruit in California. Chapter 9 The depression wore on, and the tenant farmers sold everything they had for half the value. It was all they could get for their things. They sat there in despair, with unknowing eyes. They piled in the trucks and cars and fled the only home any of them had ever known. Chapter 10 The following morning the Joad family left, taking Casy with them and leaving Muley at the old house. They gave him a few chickens to eat, and he told them that he would look after the place.
The night before they butchered two hogs and salted them down for food on the trip. Al Joad was in charge of driving and maintaining the truck, all the responsibility was on him. He knew that if anything happened to the truck that he would have to take the blame. John on the other hand took on a different approach. Years before his wife had died from an appendicidice, and he took the blame for not getting her to a doctor in time. When the guilt grew to heavy he would go out and get drunk. Grandpa had been looking forward to the trip until it was time to leave.
He refused to go so they gave him a strong cough surpe and it made him drunk. After they got him settled down they were off to California. Chapter 11 Now the houses were left vacant and completely abandoned. When a small little rain fell grass grew up where there was never any before. The grass grew in between the boards in the porch and the doors swung open. The families were gone from the land they once loved. Chapter 12 The Joad family is just one of many families on route 66, driving their jalopies west in hope of a better life. Along the way people discourage the families and tell them to go back.
They say that the prices are not worth the drive out there. The families are forced to pay double for what they need. Tires are a fortune and some places charge for water. The money is limited but, they have to pay the price Chapter 13 Al concentrated only on the car and listened to it with his whole body. The family pulled into a gas station and the man at the gas station thought they didnt have any money. The man was also poor because he kept giving hand outs. The man wore old clothes and a paper hat. He kept saying “Whats it all comin to? ” At the gas station the family dog was hit by a car.
In a way it was a relief that they would not have to feed him but, he was killed right in front of the kids. Grandpa was not getting better, and died of a seizure. The family did not have enough money for a death certificate, so they buried him along the campsite where they were staying. It was illegal but, they did not have $40 extra so they wrote a note saying who he was and when and why he died. Chapter 14 In this chapter the Joad family meet the Wilsons. The Wilsons were from Arkansas. The Joad family met them, and were camped along side them when grandpa died.
They decided to team up together since the Wilsons didnt have much food. The Wilsons would follow the Joads to California. This was the only way that the Joads could show appreciation for the Wilsons. Grandpa had died in their tent using their blanket, and they just wanted to show hospitality to the Wilsons. Chapter 15 The chapter discussed the people trying to make a living selling food to-go. The people are also trying to make a living, but the business does not have the money to spend. Others that do have the money spend it on entertainment. They listen to music and go to shows, but those are the lucky and there are few.
Chapter 16 As they went along the Wilsons car broke down and they found out it was a connecting rod. The rest of the family went ahead to a camp ground while Tom, Al and Casy stayed behind to go back to the nearest town and buy the part. Tom and Al went back to a junk yard and met a man with one eye. The man complained that he could never get a date and he did not have much to eat. Tom, got mad at him and told him to get cleaned up and put a patch over his eye. The man just felt sorry for himself. The man did give them a good deal plus they bought a flash light and a socket wrench.
Then they went back and fixed the car and went on ahead to the camp. A man at the camp told them that there was no work in California but, they didnt let that discourage them. Chapter 17 As the families moved along, they created their own system of rules. Rules of not intruding on other peoples privacy and to be quiet at night while in camp. It also discussed how the families grew a custom to building their tents each night and tearing them down in the morning. How at first they were unsturdy and as time went on they grew to be not only sturdy but suitable living spaces.
Chapter 18 The family was now crossing the last part of Arizona and was doing so by driving at night. At the border of Arizona they were stopped and questioned by a state trooper as to how long they planned on staying. They were trying to discourage long stays because they did not want migrants staying and being unemployed. Also Grandma was very ill and unstable. When they were camping along a river one night Noah the second youngest son decided to leave the family, he said he would just be in the way and he would live along the river and eat fish. Tom let him go because he knew it was true and that he could take care of himself.
As they went along they reached the California border and found it to still be desert. They were a little discouraged but kept going and found it to be lush and fertile land just like they imagined. Chapter 19 The people are pushed around by cops. Men have no clue as how to provide for their family. There are no chances for them to farm their own ground. The jobs dont pay enough for the people to eat, so they stay close to water and starve. The cops cause more trouble than prevent. The cops are well fed and fat, and they are scared that the people will organize.
A son of a squatter shot and killed a cop while the cop was harassing his father. Thus, leading the cops to believe if a boy could do it, imagine a men. If they happen to organize who knows what will happen. Chapter 20 When the Joad family reaches the a town, they find that there are a lot of families just like them. They all camp on the outside of the towns near water; these places are called Hoovervilles. They try and get information out of one gentleman, but he is playing dumb, also know as “bull-simple” it is when if they are asked a question they pretend not to hear or not to know.
They do hear of a government camp near Weedpatch, but they decide to stay the night. By this time Uncle John is starting to feel guilt and he confesses to holding back $5 to go out and have fun with. In change father takes the $5 and gives him $2 and lets him go and get drunk. Next that same day a man comes along and wants to know if any men want to work. One squatter protest and wants to see the mans license to hire and wants his wages in writing. A deputy tells the man to get in the car, and the man refuses. When the mad runs the deputy shoots and hits a woman in the hand. Tom then trips him and hits him to knock him out.
When the deputy comes to Casy confesses to the crime knowing he would be out of the weather and well fed. After the deputy takes him away Tom comes out of hiding and finds that Uncle John took off on a drinking binge and that Connie left Rose of Sharon. Connie is no where to be found but, John is found by a creek drunk. To convince John to come along Tom hits him in the chin and carries him back. They fled camp that night in hopes of getting into the government camp. Chapter 21 The chapter tells how rich land owners are gaining even more power. They are buying canneries near their fields and taking the fresh fruit and caning them.
The fruit will not rot and can last for years in just a warehouse. The left over fruit is not given away to the hungry of even sold it is poisoned with kerosene. The land owners are so greedy that they will not even give away the excess. They feel they must make it unusable. The crippled pigs are killed and covered with quick lime, thus spoiling the meat. As their wealth grows so does the monster. The monster known as greed. Chapter 22 The Joads were lucky, a family just moved out and they got a spot to stay. In the government camp there are no cops and the only way they can enter is if they have a warrant.
There is warm running water, toilets and a general store. In the morning Tom met a neighbor that feed him breakfast and took him along and found him a job. Ma sent Pa to the store because, the store gives them a $10 credit. Ma told him to buy meat, beans, carrots, sugar and something nice. People in California use the word “reds. ” They are the people looking down on the immigrants and are referring to their red cheeks that they get from working outside all day long. Also Rose of Sharon meets a lady that tells her that anyone that has ever been in a play or close danced, will go straight to hell.
This really upsets her and makes her cry. When Tom was at work his boss warned him that there would be a riot at the dance Saturday night and cops would be waiting to come in. The Joad family is finally happy and being treated well. Chapter 23 During the depression the people were hungry for entertainment. Sometimes it was as simple as funny talk but other times that did not suffice. The best form of entertainment was music. First the harmonica was the simplest and the cheapest to play. Then came the guitar, it was a pleasure to listen to and difficult to play.
Finally, the fiddle the most costly and the most difficult to play. Any of the three were highly valued and small groups of people would gather to listen at night. A joyous tune could lift down spirits and ease the tension and worry. Chapter 24 Saturday mornings first started out with the women washing clothes and as the afternoon wore on the people started getting ready for the weekly dance. Anyone outside the camp could come to the dance as long as they were invited by a tenants of the camp. The plan was set, there would be look outs station around the camp to look for trouble.
Tom and a indian man by the name of Jules were stationed at the front gate to ask the people coming in who they were invited by. The trouble makers plan was to cut in on a mans partner and start a fight. Tom and Jules spotted them right away and when they decided to cut in men surrounded them and took them out back while the music continued. It worked and everything went as planned. Chapter 25 The chapter discusses the scientist. The scientist are hired to make bigger and sweeter fruit. The scientist also graft trees together, thus making more trees which will in turn produce more fruit.
Steinbeck points out that men can make better fruit but ironically they can not create a system so that the poor can eat the fruit. The fruit is there but no one can afford it. The people are still starving because the wealthy can not give away food so they poison it. Thus proving the grapes of wrath. Chapter 26 The Joads are in good living conditions but are still without work. They have tried for a month to find work with no success. Ma now plays a unusual role as head of the family. So the family decides to head north in hopes of getting a job picking peaches. When the get to the orchard there are rioters along the road.
Although the living conditions are not as good they accept the job. The pay is 5 cents a box; for peaches. After picking peaches all afternoon they had earned $1 and went to the store. Prices were higher and the keeper kept telling ma that if she went where they were cheaper the money she would save would be spent in gas. So ma bought what little she could buy. After dinner Tom snuck out of the camp to find out why people were rioting. He stopped along the road to talk to a man and found it to be Jim Casy. They talked about what was going on and as they were speaking they heard men approaching.
They went outside and one man accused Casy of leading the strike, then hit him with a ax handle. Tom took the ax handle and hit the man back and killed him. Tom was once again a wanted man. He went back to the camp and hid. The cops would be able to find him because he was hit in the face. Tom was on the run again from the cops. Chapter 27 The migrant people are still moving, looking for work. People are trying to get good wages, but there are so many people to do the job, that they cut the prices. It is now cotton season and the people spend their last dollars on cotton bags.
As the people pick and weigh in, they write down their own records to make sure that they are not being cheated. The people are devastated and starving and no one can do anything about it. Chapter 28 The Joads flee the peach camp the next day. They hide Tom under mattresses and smuggle him out. The guards question why there is one less man and they tell the guards that the man was just a hitchhiker and they dont know where he is at. The Joads run to the cotton field for work. They find a camp of workers staying in boxcars and turn one into a home. Tom decides to stay out in the wilderness so that no one can find him.
His facial wound would be a sure give away. Rose of Sharon is getting closer to having the baby and they need to buy milk to keep her strong. Picking cotton is not hard work and most of the family pick’s. They find the job to provide plenty of money. They can at least have a good meal every day. Chapter 29 The chapter talks about the on coming rains. The rains will last a couple of months. The rains are much like the peoples spirits, dark and gloomy. The rain will stop all work for months and the people will starve. No work means no food. The rain leaks in the cars and the cars wont start.
The people are stuck where they are. Chapter 30 The rain has started. They hoped it would last for only a couple of days but it kept going, ceasing all work. They cant pick wet cotton, so the families sit in their houses and spend their last dollars on food. When the money is out, they know that their is no kind of work that they can do to get more money. Rose of Sharon goes into labor. It last a whole day, and when the baby is born it is dead. It had died because of lack of food. They decided to float it down river and let the people see what they have done to them. Ma gave Tom the last of the money and sent him away.
He could no longer be part of the family. He was going to try and lead the people back to prosperity. The men built a little dike, to keep the water from coming into the camp. But, in time the water spilled over and flooded the cars and the box cars. The Joads fled once again to a barn down the road. Inside they found a starving man, so deprived of food he could not talk. Steinbeck shows in the last scene that these people would go on. Rose of Sharon offered her breast milk as food, and the starving man survived. Just like the reader knew the Joads would survive the tragedy and hardship.