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___________________________The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Grapes of Wrath

 

Summary and Review of Chapters 16-20

Summary:


Granma's health has worsened since Grampa's death, and now she is clinging precariously to life. The Wilsons' car breaks down again; Tom and Casy want to stay behind to repair it, but Ma Joad refuses to split the family up. Instead, the whole group waits while Al and Tom go into town to find parts for the car.

Al wants Tom to tell him about life in prison, but Tom remains reticent. When they get back and fix the car, the family continues on their way. That night, they arrive at a crowded camp and everyone there seems to be talking about the handbills that are advertising work in California. Pa Joad starts to talk to some of the other men who tell him that there were more handbills printed than there are jobs. One of the men even says that his family starved to death because there wasn't any work available.

Still, they push on. In Arizona, they stop by a river and wash up. There, they are hassled by a policeman. Noah decides to stay at the river and no one can change his mind. Mrs. Wilson became sick so they decided to stay at the river while the Joad’s go on. Crossing California, Granma dies and the family has to bury her a pauper since they are out of money.

In California, they stop at a camp filled with other migrants. There they meet Floyd Knowles to explains to them that there is no work and the wages are down. He says that the police will arrest anyone they don’t like. Connie and Rose talk about their future. Later, Connie leaves the tent and never comes back leaving his pregnant wife. During the evening, an employer comes to the camp promising work. Floyd, however, knows the system and that the employer is trying to get a lot of workers so he can lower the wages. The employer came prepared with a cop who tries to arrest Floyd but Floyd punches him and runs. As the cop runs after Floyd, Tom trips him and the cop shoot toward Floyd’s direction hitting a bystander and shooting off her fingers. Casy them comes along and kicks the cop in the neck knocking him out. Everyone runs except Casy who turns himself in as the troublemaker. The cop threatens that he will burn down the camp at night

 

Review:

The desperate plight of the "Okie" is vividly described and the Joads are beginning to lose their optimism about the glory of California. They encounter horrendous living conditions, hardly any work, and police brutality.

The elder Joads are now both gone and neither of them had a decent family funeral. In addition, Noah and Connie have left and this reduces the family even further.

The chapters begin to elude to the beginning movement of a worker's organization with the scene with Knowles, Tom and Casy.

 

 

  • Biography of John Steinbeck

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • 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

  • Studyworld Essay Search on The Grapes of Wrath


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