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Grapes Of Wrath Book Report

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The Joad family is forced to move to California because of the Oklahoma Dust

Bowl, which has made it impossible for them to earn a livelihood through farming.

Drought and depression has made it impossible for farmers to grow a substantial amount

to live on. As inflation rises and wages drop, a gigantic worker migration heads West in

search of Jobs. They have seen notices asking for workers in the western part of the

United States, and travel thinking that they will find gainful employment. However there is

much to learn about the United States in its economic turmoil. During the depression,

thousands of people looked for work, and were cheated every step of the way. The

Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, is the story about a family living during the days of

the depression and what they did to survive. Many families were hurt by the depression,

so Steinbeck wrote of a typical family with detail that makes you understand the pain and

suffering people went through in the country's darkest of times.

Tom Joad, recently released from prison for a homicide, hitchhikes back home to

his fathers farm which he hasn't been to in 4 years. He tells the truck driver who gives

him a ride that he got in a fight with a guy at a dance and when he tried to brandish a

knife, Tom hit him on the head with a shovel. The truck driver lets him off at his father's

farm but he finds it abandoned. He does meet up with an old friend Jim Casy who used to

be a preacher. So Tom and Jim head down to his uncle's to locate his family. A day later

he finds them all about to leave for California. Tom decides to accompany his family to

California although it means breaking his parole. Packed tightly into a truck, they begin

their journey down Route 66, little realizing that they are part of a huge migration into an

unwelcoming region of the US. The Joads encounter friends along the road, but they also

wander into adversity. They meet the Wilsons, who drive along with them to Arizona, and

various other Oklahoma families.

This Journey is not easy though, there is much suffering to be dealt with. Tom's

grandfather dies of a stroke at the beginning of the trip. And his dogs that he bought

along are run over. They constantly have car problems and they face more and more

disrespect as they get closer to the California border. The Wilson's truck dies along the

way and they are all forced to stay in a small town along Route 66. They hear many

stories from other migratory workers about how they lost their land to the depression.

Whether it was increased rent by corrupt landowners or a typical drought, the result was

always the same, families would have to move away in search of new jobs. However,

everyone was so caught up in the hopeful prosperity of new land that they were blinded by

the reality.

By the time they reach the California border, it becomes clear that they will not be

treated with respect by the officials or local settlers in their new state. The grandmother

dies, having been ill for sometime, before they cross into California. They are told to move

on, and camp out near Hooverville, in a settlement of migrant farmers outside the town.

They meet a man named Floyd Knowles who tells the Joads that he has been in California

for six months but that it has been impossible to get enough to eat. Tom's mother sits in

the tent making stew, with the children of the camp gathering around. Tom tries to send

them away, but she cannot refuse them food. She tells them that she does not have enough

food to feed all of them, but she will let them scrape the pot with sticks. Floyd tells the

men that there is work up north, picking fruit. They will have to travel 200 miles, and the

Joads would rather not move again. They encounter a contractor who offers them a job

picking fruit up north. Floyd asks to see the man's contract, and the contractor calls a

deputy sheriff out from his car accusing Floyd of agitating the workers. Tom and Casy

knock the deputy unconscious. Later Casy is taken to jail and the camp is torched for

"red" in influences.

The family moves on to a government camp, where they find running water and a

well-established community but little work. At the Weedpatch camp, decisions are made

by committee, the women share childcare duties, and the police are not allowed to enter

without a permit. The campers invite Tom to look for work at their site. He meets the

owner, Thomas, who tells them that the wage has been lowered from thirty to twenty-five

cents. He also warns them that there is going to be a fight at the Saturday night dance at

the camp, because the police want an excuse to infiltrate the campsite. A touring car

drives to the entrance, and the driver calls that he heard they have a riot inside. The guard

tells

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