Essay, Research Paper: Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck

Literature: Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath: The Purpose of the Interchapters - Sara Stark Initially, I
found the interchapters to be annoying, interruptions to the story. It was only
when I realized the point in having the interchapters that I understood that not
only did they not interrupt the story, but they added to it tremendously. The
interchapters provide indirect comments or general situations which suggest
something about the personal tragedies of the main characters. These comments
and situations help give the reader an understanding of what the characters are
going through by either showing metaphorically their present or future triumphs
and struggles or explaining the history of the period that they lived in.
Chapter three is an interchapter. It describes a concrete highway that a land
turtle struggled to cross. The turtle was finally almost there when it was hit
by a truck and its shell was chipped and it was thrown on its back. The turtle
had to struggle even hard but it did get going again. This chapter represented
the continual struggle of that the Joads would have to face throughout the
entire story. Throughout the novel the Joads meet many hardships. They are
forced to leave their home, lose family members such as the grandparents and
Noah, work for low wages, and suffer from hunger floods and cruel prejudices in
California. But, just as the turtle refused to be swayed from his purpose so
will the Joads. Chapter five is an interchapter that discusses a tractors hired
by banks or a corporations that would come to the land and plow through it,
destroying everything in its path. The chapter is an abstract conflict between
the tenant farmer and the banks and shows the pain of a tenant farmer upon
leaving the land that was settled by their grandfather. The tenant farmer was so
upset that he threatened to shoot the driver . Another chapter describes a
tenant farmer who has to leave and is cheated into paying to much for a car.
Chapter nine describes the generalized families who must sell their sentimental
goods at absurdly low prices. These chapters present the situations which the
Joads come across very soon. The Joads have to leave their land and sell all
their things. Pa dreads telling Ma, in chapter ten, the price he sold their
things for. Grandpa threatens to kill the tractor driver who was plowing their
land just like the tenant farmer who Steinback described. The Joads had to buy a
used car in order to go to California. The interchapters provided general social
situations which Joads had to face. Interchapters nineteen and twenty one the
development of land ownership in California. Chapter nineteen explains how the
Americans took California from the Mexicans and people known as
"squatters" acquired lots of land and thought of it as their own. They
hired people to work the land and became great owners. The problem was that many
people from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas began to arrive and the owners didn't
want them to become "squatters" so they hated them and called them
"Okies". These owners cut wages in order to pay policemen to guard and
protect their property. In the next chapter, the Joads are called Okies and a
young man explains to Tom that the people are afraid that the Okies will get
organized if they stay in one place for long enough so they push them around.
This man also explains how no one can get people together to organize because
the cops will arrest whoever starts up. Chapter twenty one describes how the
people with small jobs in California are afraid of the Okies because they don't
want to lose their jobs. The big companies could make wages very low because
people were starving and would work for low wages. The following chapter
explains how Tom met Timothy Wallace who told him that he would only have his
job for a couple of days and his wages were being cut. The interchapters
describe general situations and the chapters after them explain how that
particular situation affects or will affect the Joads. The reader can learn many
details about the hardships that the Joads went through by reading about the
hardships of the migrant workers as a whole. By certain metaphors, like the
turtle, that Steinback used in the interchapters we can learn about the nature
and the struggle of the Joads throughout the novel.
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