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"The Grapes Of Wrath" Essay

914 words - 4 pages

After being released from an Okalahoma state prison after having served four years for a manslaughter conviction, Tom Joad makes his way back to his family's farm in Oklahoma. He meets Jim Casy, who was a former preacher who has given up his calling out of a belief that all life is holy. Jim accompanies Tom to his home, only to find it and all the surrounding farms deserted. Muley Graves, an old neighbor, wanders by and tells them that everyone has been "tractored" off the land. Most families, he says, including his own, have headed to California to look for work. The next morning, Tom and Jim set off for Tom's Uncle John's, where Muley assures them they will find the Joad clan. When ...view middle of the document...

Noah, the oldest of the Joad children, soon abandons the family, followed by Connie, a young dreamer who is married to Tom's pregnant sister, Rose of Sharon.The camps are overfull and filled with starving immigrants, who are often verry nasty to each other. The locals are scared and angry at the overflow of newcomers, whom they mockingly label "Okies." Work is almost impossible to find or pays such a skimpy wage that a family's full day's work couldn't even buy a decent meal. Fearing an rebellion, the large landowners do everything in their power to keep the immigrants poor and dependent. While staying in a broken down camp known as a "Hooverville," Tom and some other men get into a fiery argument with a deputy sheriff over whether workers should organize into a union. When the argument turns violent, Jim Casy knocks the sheriff unconscious and then gets arrested. Police officers arrive and announce their plan to burn the Hooverville to the ground.A government runned camp proves much friendlier to the Joads, and the family soon makes many friends and a bit of work. However, one day, while working at a pipe laying job, Tom learns that the police are plotting to stage a riot in the camp, which would allow them to shut down the facilities. By informing and organizing the men in the camp, Tom helps to resolve the danger. Still, as nice life in the government camp was, the Joads couldn't survive...

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