1. Tom Joad was in jail for four years for hitting a guy with a shovel at a bar. He was released for good behavior but is on parole. When Tom is released he goes to find his parents at their home but it is abandoned so he asks a nearby neighbor what happened. The neighbor tells Tom that they have left and are now living at Tom’s uncle’s house. Due to the drought many families have not been able to afford their land so the bank takes them away. When Tom meets up with his family they tell him that they are moving to California because there is work there. Tom and his family travel to California and the closer they get the more that they realize that California may not be as nice as they hoped. Thousands of people have traveled to California in hope of finding work but have found none. Tom and his family are lucky enough to stay in a government camp for a couple of days but eventually they have to leave to find work. Eventually, they find work at a peach camp but after a couple days Tom and Casey get into trouble and the Joads have to leave the camp. The Joads one night take shelter in a barn and hope for a better future because they have found no work in California during the Great Depression.
2. The theme of Grapes of Wrath is the importance of family because none of them would have survived if they were all alone in California, they needed each other. They treasured each other’s presence because it kept them sane. When the world is bitter and cold to the Joads, they can always look to each other for comfort.
3. The tone was very gloomy and somber because the novel describes a family going through the many hardships that affected people during the Great Depression.
· “When I worked in that hotel in Albuquerque, Al, the way they steal-ever’ darn thing.”
· “An’ the bigger the car they got, the more they steal-towels, silver, soap dishes. I can’t figger it.”
· “The families learned what rights must be observed- the right of privacy in the tent; the right to keep the past black hidden in the heart; the right to talk and to listen.”
4. Setting: The setting constantly changes in Grapes of Wrath because the Joads travel from Oklahoma all the way to California. The story does take place during the Great Depression. “Just let me get out to California where I can pick me an orange when I want it.”(p.83)
Symbolism: When the author describes the bank, he describes it like it is some kind of hungry monster that wants to eat more and more of plantations and farms owned by farmers. The tractors are described as "snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines."
Imagery: “When Albert come back a week later there wasn’t a thing left in his house-stove was gone, beds were gone, window frames was gone, and eight feet of plankin’ was gone off the south side of the house so you could look right through her.”(p.43)
Tone: “And on the road the panic overcame some of the families, so that they drove night and day, stopped to sleep in the cars, and drove on to the West, flying from the road, flying from movement.”(p.196)
Mood: The mood is the same as the tone. “Then water in the evening was the yearning, and food over the fire. Then health to go on was the need and strength to go on, and spirit to go on.”(p.196)
Allegory: The turtle in Chapter 3 trouble to travel across the road reflects the Joads’ troubles to go across the country and find work in California. “For a long moment the turtle lay still, and then the neck crept out and the old humorous frowning eyes looked about and the legs and tail came out.”(p.15)
Diction: The author’s diction is informal because I think the author believed this is how they talked during that time, for the people that lived in the country. “Grampa’s tough ol’ bastard. Jus’ set on that Injun pilla an’ says, ‘Let Albert come an’ get her Why,’ he says, ‘I’ll take that squirt and wring ‘im out like a pair of drawers.’”(p.44)
Syntax: The sentences are very prolix at times when Steinbeck is describing places. “When Albert come back a week later there wasn’t a thing left in his house-stove was gone, beds were gone, window frames was gone, and eight feet of plankin’ was gone off the south side of the house so you could look right through her.”(p.43)
Allusion: Steinbeck makes a couple of allusions in Chapter 14 of well-known people in history. “If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive.”(p.152)
Metaphor: “Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other. Here is the anlage of the thing you fear. This is the zygote.”(p.151)
1. Direct Characterization: “He was not over thirty. His eyes were very dark brown and there was hint of brown pigment in his eyeballs. His cheek bones were high and wide, and strong deep lines cut down his cheeks, in curves, beside his mouth.”(p.6)
Direct Characterization: “His gray cap was so new that the visor was still stiff and the button still on, not shapeless and bulged as it would be when it had served for a while all the various purposes of a cap- carrying sack, towel, handkerchief.”(p.6)
Indirect Characterization: “The questions of the driver had the tone of a subtle examination. He seemed to spread nets, to set traps with his questions.”(p.8)
Indirect Characterization: “The driver looked quickly back at the restaurant for a second. “Didn’t you see the No Riders sticker on the windshield?” “Sure-I seen it. But sometimes a guy’ll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker.”(p.7)
2. The author doesn’t change his syntax and diction when he is describing a character because he uses informal diction and syntax throughout the book and not just when describing characters. “Grampa’s tough ol’ bastard. Jus’ set on that Injun pilla an’ says, ‘Let Albert come an’ get her Why,’ he says, ‘I’ll take that squirt and wring ‘im out like a pair of drawers.’”(p.44)
3. Tom is a dynamic and round charcter because when you first meet him you get the impression that he is a bad guy because he was in jail for hitting a guy with a shovel. However, as the story continues you get to see more of Tom and how much he cares about his family that he would do nothing to put them in harm’s way which is rare for a guy that just spent some time in jail.
4. At the end of the story I felt like I met the family in real life because their misfortunes were so dissatisfying and unfortunate that I developed a feeling of hope that the family would be ok at the end of the story. “The family ate the steaming boiled potatoes with their fingers. And when this last food was gone, they stared at the gray water; and in the night they did not lie down for a long time.”(p.450)