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The Grapes of Wrath - Story Overview

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jul 04, 2004

Principal Characters

Tod Joad, a recent parolee in his mid-twenties
Ma and Pa Joad, a strong, middle-aged Oklahoma couple
Noah Joad, their strange eldest son
Al, their wild sixteen-year-old
Rose of Sharon, eldest Joad daughter, married and pregnant
Gramma and Grampa Joad, an earthy old couple
Jim Casy, a preacher and, later, a labor agitator
Other Joad children

Story Overview

As Tom Joad hitchhiked his way home after a four-year stay in prison for killing a man in a fight, he met up with Jim Casy, a former preacher who was returning from a sojourn in the "wilderness," where he had been soul-searching. Tom invited Jim to walk with him on the dusty road to the Joad family farm, and to stay for dinner. Arriving there, he saw that "the small unpainted house was mashed at one corner, and it had been pushed off its foundations so that it slumped at an angle." The farm was deserted. Muley Graves, a near-by tenant farmer, told Tom that his family had moved to their Uncle john's house: " . . . They was going to stick it out when the bank come to tractorin' off the place." A long drought was making barren ground out of what had once been fertile farmland.

Early the following morning Tom and Casy walked the eight miles to Uncle John's farm. As they approached, Tom saw his Pa working on a truck in the yard. Pa's "eyes looked at Tom's face, and then gradually his brain became aware of what he saw." With Tom's homecoming, the Joad family unit was complete. Now Ma and Pa, the pregnant oldest daughter Rose of Sharon, and her husband Connie, Grampa, Gramma, and all the rest started packing: they were all "goin' to California" to start over as fruit pickers. Like thousands of other displaced tenant farmers, the Joads, spurred on by the promise of good wages and sunshine, sold what they could, bought a used car and headed out on Highway 66, "a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership."

After the supplies and tools were loaded into the old Hudson, which teen-aged Al load had converted into a truck, the Joad family and Casy (twelve people in all) squeezed into what little space was left and started west.

During the first overnight stop, Gramma suddenly was hit by a stroke and died. They buried him...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   07/04/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   8 pages (1,757 words)

Views:   6288

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