The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath Full Summary Chapter One: Steinbeck begins the novel with a description of the dust bowl climate of Oklahoma. The dust was so thick that men and women had to remain in their houses, and when they had to leave they tied handkerchiefs over their faces and wore goggles to protect their eyes. After the wind had stopped, an even blanket of dust covered the earth. The corn crop was ruined. Everybody wondered what they would do. The women and children knew that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole, but the men had not yet figured out what to do. Chapter Two: A man approaches a small diner where a large red transport truck is parked. The man is under thirty, with dark brown eyes and high cheekbones. He wore new clothes that don't quite fit.

The truck driver exits from the diner and the man asks him for a ride, despite the "No Riders" sticker on the truck. The man claims that sometimes a guy will do a good thing even when a rich bastard makes him carry a sticker, and the driver, feeling trapped by the statement, lets the man have a ride. While driving, the truck driver asks questions, and the man finally gives his name, Tom Joad. The truck driver claims that guys do strange things when they drive trucks, such as make up poetry, because of the loneliness of the job. The truck driver claims that his experience driving has trained his memory and that he can remember everything about a person he passes. Realizing that the truck driver is pressing for information, Tom finally admits that he had just been

released from McAlester prison for homicide. He had been sentenced to seven years and was released after only four, for good behavior. Chapter Three: At the side of the roadside, a turtle crawled, dragging his shell over the grass. He came to the embankment at the road and, with great effort, climbed onto the road. As the turtle attempts to cross the road, it is nearby hit by a sedan. A truck swerves to hit the turtle, but its wheel only strikes the edge of its shell and spins it back off the highway. The turtle lays on its back, but finally pulls itself over. Chapter Four: After getting out of the truck, Tom Joad begins walking home. He sees the turtle of the previous chapter and picks it up. He stops in the shade of a tree to rest and meets a man who sits there, singing

"Jesus is My Savior." The man, Jim Casy, had a long, bony frame and sharp features. A former minister, he recognizes Tom immediately. He was a "Burning Busher" who used to "howl out the name of Jesus to glory," but he lost the calling because he has too many sinful ideas that seem sensible. Tom tells Casy that he took the turtle for his little brother, and he replies that nobody can keep a turtle, for they eventually just go off on their own. Casy claims that he doesn't know where he's going now, and Tom tells him to lead people, even if he doesn't know where to lead them. Casy tells Tom that part of the reason he quit preaching was that he too often succumbed to temptation, having sex with many of the girls he Њsaved.' Finally he realized that

perhaps what he was doing wasn't a sin, and there isn't really sin or virtue there are simply things people do. He realized he didn't Њknow Jesus,' he merely knew the stories of the Bible. Tom tells Casy why he was in jail: he was at a dance drunk, and got in a fight with a man. The man cut Tom with a knife, so he hit him over the head with a shovel. Tom tells him that he was treated relatively well in McAlester. He ate regularly, got clean clothes and bathed. He even tells about how someone broke his parole to go back. Tom tells how his father Њstole' their house. There was a family living there that moved away, so his father, uncle and grandfather cut the house in two and dragged part of it first, only to find that Wink Manley took the other half. They get to the boundary