Paper on Grapes Of Wrath Book Report

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Grapes Of Wrath Book Report

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
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