Essay, Research Paper: Grapes Of Wrath By Steinbeck

Literature: Grapes of Wrath

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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. 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
Tomís 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 itís 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 manís 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
wasnít 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 ďPraise god for victory!Ē
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 didnít 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 ďWhatís it all cominí to?Ē 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 Wilsonís.
The Wilsonís 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
Wilsonís didnít have much food. The Wilsonís would follow the Joadís 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
Wilsonís 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
didnít 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 donít 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 ďbull-simpleĒ 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 ďreds.Ē 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 donít
know where he is at. The Joadís 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 wonít 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 canít 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 Joadís 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 Joadís would survive the tragedy and hardship.
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