The Grapes Of Wrath 5 Essay Research

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The Grapes Of Wrath 5 Essay, Research Paper The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck in 1939. In 1940 it garnered him the Pulitzer Prize. The Grapes of Wrath has been called “The best example of the proletarian literature of the 1930 s.” by Benet s Reader s Encyclopedia. The first chapter is a description of the land. This description of the great “dust bowl” gives us the background situation for the great migration to California. In the next chapter we are introduced to the main character of the novel, Tom Joad. He is hitchhiking home after being incarcerated for four years on the charge of manslaughter. After being dropped off near his house he meets his old preacher Jim Casy. Casy informs Joad that he no longer feels the need to be a

preacher. Casy accompanies Tom back to the deserted farm that used to be his families. Muley Graves, a former neighbor of the Joad s informs Tom that his family, along with most tenant farmers of the area had been pushed off their land. He also tells him that his family is now living at his Uncle John s farm. Tom and Casy arrive at Uncle John s farm to find the Joads preparing to move again, this time to California. This is where Tom s family is introduced to us. There is Ma, Pa, Grampa and Granma, and Noah, the oldest son. The daughter, Rose of Sharon is pregnant and dreams of finding a nice place in California. Connie, Rose of Sharon s husband who deserts her when they reach California, Al, the sixteen-year old son, and Ruthie and Windfield, the two youngest children. Tom is

now informed that the banks had foreclosed on all the farms. Casy decides to go with the Joads to California. While they are getting ready to go Muley stops to say good-bye one last time. The Joads offer to bring him to California to join his family, but he says he just cannot bring himself to leave the land his father settled. Grampa has also reached the same decision as Muley. The Joads decide that forcing Grampa to come with them could possibly cause harm to him. They decide to give him a strong dose of medication in his coffee that will make him fall asleep. Unfortunately, Grampa never fully wakes up and soon dies. The Joads borrow a blanket from the Wilsons, a family that they had helped and were now traveling with, and bury Grampa in it. Granma becomes ill during the trip

and dies before they reach California. The Wilsons stop when Mrs. Wilson becomes sick. The Joads give them some food and money, then continue to California. The Joads arrived in California with four fewer people then their original party. Two had died, and Noah had left the family because he thought he was a hindrance to it. Connie had also left and Casy would soon follow, although from different circumstances. At Hooverville, the first migrant camp the Joads stop at there is a fight. When the police come, Casy admits to taking part in the fight to save Tom. The Joads did not stay long here, as they were unable to find work. They would face the same situation at the next camp they stopped at. They finally find work at a peach orchard where the workers are on strike. To enter the

orchard, the Joads need police protection from the angry strikers. Later that night, Tom sneaks out to find out why the workers were striking. He finds that Casy had been released from prison, and is now the leader of the strike. Casey explains that the workers are just trying to get fair wages. While talking to Casy, the deputies that had been searching for Casy find and kill him. Tom receives a cut on his head, but not before he kills a deputy. The Joads felt sorry for the striking workers, but the only alternative to their starving is to cross the picket lines. For all the danger involved in this they receive five cents for filling a box, barely enough to survive. Soon the Joads would yet again be forced to leave, Tom was a wanted man and their wages had been cut in half. They