The Grapes of Wrath
Uploaded by GunnersAFC on May 18, 1999
The Grapes of Wrath is an eye-opening novel which deals with the struggle for survival of a migrant family of farmers in the western United States. The book opens with a narrative chapter describing Oklahoma, and the overall setting. It sets the mood of an area which has been ravished by harsh weather. "The sun flared down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet. The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth became pale, pink in the red country, and white in the gray country." (Steinbeck pg.3) Steinbeck, in a detailed fashion described the area in great detail. Not only was the area stricken by a drought and extreme temperatures, but to add to the difficulties, the families of the area were bombarded by high winds and dust storms which barraged their houses, crops, and moral. The idea was made clear, quite early, that the farming plains of Oklahoma were a cruel and difficult place for a family to make a successful living.
The reader is first introduced to a character by the name of Tom Joad, a man who has been released early from the penitentiary on parole after serving four years of his seven year sentence. Tom, once released, begins the trip back home to his family on their forty acre farming estate. Tom, through the aid of a helpful truck driver, is given a ride to the general area of his house. It is interesting to see how Tom manages to hitch a ride with the truck driver, who under normal circumstances, would not have given any rides to hitch hikers, simply due to a sticker on his cab which reads "No Riders." Tom however, through cunning reasoning skills, is able to get what he needs. "Can you give me a lift mister," said Tom. "Didn't you see the No Riders sticker on the wind shield?,"the driver proclaimed. "Sure, I seen it. But sometimes a guy will be a good guy even if some rich b&%#@rd makes him carry a sticker."(Steinbeck 11) Technically, if the driver refused, he would not be a "good" guy , and if he took the hitch-hiker, he would be a "good" guy, and would prove that he was not one whom a rich boss could kick around. Through...