revised The Grapes of Wrath - The Grapes of Wrath The...

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The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath is a novel written by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America were forced to live during the 1930’s. Set during the great depression, the novel tells the story of a family of sharecroppers, the Joads. When the Joads lose their farm in Oklahoma, the family sets out for California in search of land, jobs and dignity along with thousands of other “Okies”. The novel begins with Tom Joad’s journey home just after he is paroled from prison. On his way home he meets up with Jim Casy, a preacher from Tom’s past. The two travel together to Tom’s childhood farm home, only to find it deserted. Steinbeck explains how the banks and landowners, eager to make greater profits, are “tractoring” people off their lands and changing to industrialized farming. Tractors arrive on the land with orders to plow the property, crushing anything in their paths, including the farmhouse if necessary. Usually the tractors are driven by the farmer’s neighbors, who have taken the job as their only means of feeding their own families. Tom and Casy meet up with Muley Graves, an old neighbor who reports that the Joads have moved in with Tom’s Uncle John and been working at picking cotton to earn enough money to buy a car and make their way to California. Muley explains how he has lost his own land and his family has already left for California. Tom and Casy travel to Uncle John’s house and arrive as the family is preparing to set off for California. Tom learns how the family’s crops were destroyed during the Dust Bowl and they were forced out of their homes and off the land. The family finds
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hope in handbills, which were distributed throughout Oklahoma. Handbills, which promised plenty of jobs and high wages out west. The Joad’s, believing in these handbills, sell off all of their possessions they cannot take with them and invest everything they have into their trip west. Along the way, the family discovers there are thousands of other families, all with
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course ENGLISH 102 taught by Professor Wachs during the Spring '11 term at University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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revised The Grapes of Wrath - The Grapes of Wrath The...

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