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___________________________The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Grapes of Wrath

Summary and Review of Chapters 1-4

Summary:

The novel is set in Oklahoma during the time of the drought in the 1930's. Tom Joad, recently released from the State Penitentiary, is returning to his father's farm. He is able to hitch a ride for most of the way. When he reaches a road that is close to where his family lives, the driver lets him off and he starts to walk the rest of the distance. On the road he meets Jim Casy who used to preach in Tom's church. Tom invites him to go with him to see his family and on the way Jim tells him that he no longer is practicing his profession because he had had a sexual affair with a woman in the congregation. When they reach the farm, Tom is surprised to find that the farm is deserted.


Review:

The novel begins by depicting the misery that was brought on by the drought that hit the Great Plains in the 1930's. When the drought and dust storms showed no signs of letting up, many people abandoned their land. Others would have stayed but were forced out when they lost their land in bank foreclosures. In all, one-quarter of the population left, packing everything they owned into their cars and trucks, and headed west toward California.

The misfortunes that the Joad family experience are the result of this natural disaster. It is through them that Steinbeck describes the historical and social problems of the common people in the 1930's.

 

  • Biography of John Steinbeck

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  • Character List

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-4

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 5-9

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 10-15

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 16-20

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 21-25

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 26-30

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