Monday, October 22, 2012

Chapter 22 Analysis

  • Characters in 22: Timothy Wallace and his son Wilkie: residents of the camp that work for Mr.Thomas laying pipe and try to get Tom a job. Mr. Thomas owns acres and belongs to the Farmers' Association. Jim Rawley manager of the government camp. Annie Little Field, Jessie Bullitt, and Ella Summers women of the sanitary unit four that were on the Ladies Committee. Mrs Sandry the camps "crazy lady" she is a devote Christan. Miss Joyce her children had the "skitters" and were thought to be stealing toilet paper.
  • Main events: The Joads' arrives at the government camp. Tom meets Mr. Wallace and his son Wilkie and they get him a temporary job laying pipe for Mr. Thomas. The men go looking for work unsuccessfully. Ma Joad gets a tour of the unit by the Ladies Committee. Mrs. Sandry (a crazy women) talks to Rose of Sharon and tells her not to commit any sins like "clutch-an'-hug dancin," or she'll drop the baby. Ma gets irritated the Tom got a job  right away and none of the other men can seem to find work.
  • Themes: hope, unity, and work. 
  •  Questions: Why do Winfield and Ruthie think Winfield broke the toilet? Why does Pa get defensive and angry when Ma tells him the manager stopped by?
  • Passages: Page 309 "The brown woman's voice was rising in intensity. "I seen it. Girl a-carryin' a little one jes' like you. An' she play-acted, an' she hug-danced. And" -- the voice grew bleak and ominous--"she thinned out and she skinned out, an'--she dropped that baby, dead." Page 317 "Ruthie moved menacingly out on the court. "I'm gonna play." The pig-tails gripped her mallet tightly. Ruthie sprang at her, slapped her, pushed her, and wrested the mallet from her hands. "I says I was gonna play," she said triumphantly." 
  • Comparison: The Joad's still aren't finding much work, and can't establish a "home."
  • Contrast: The are being treated like normal human beings at the camp which they haven't felt treated normal since they have been on the road.

Chapter 24 & 25

Chapter 24

Characters and Main Events
Chapter 24 focuses on the Central Committee and their goal to prevent a riot/fight that from occurring that would allow police entry into the camp.  Some of the prominent characters in this chapter are Ezra Huston, Tom Joad, Jule Vitela, and Willie Eaton.  Most of the Joad family is mentioned in this chapter but do not play a significant role.

Some themes that were discernable in this chapter were the value of community events and escapism, police corruption, and unions.

What would have happened if local law enforcement had gained entry into the government camp?
Why is law enforcement so concerned about a camp that causes the town no trouble?

"You know better'n that," he said.  "You know a vagrant is anybody a cop don't like.  An' that's why they hate this here camp.  No cops can get in.  This here's United States, not California."

"These here dances done funny things.  Our people got nothing, but jes' because the can ast their frien's to come here to the dance, sets 'em up an' makes 'em proud.  An' the folks respects 'em 'count of these here dances.  Fella got a little place where I was a-workin'.  He come to a dance here.  I ast him myself, an' he come.  Says we got the only decent dance in the county, where a man can take his girls an' his wife. 

It has become the norm for trouble to be lurking around every corner for the migrants.  They have to be on their toes at all times, even when they are just staging a community dance.  Nothing is easy for them.

The preparedness of the migrants was much better in the government camp than it was in the hooverville.  Leadership and organization also helped them to deal with the attempt from outsiders to start a fight that might lead to the demise of the camp.

Chapter 25

Characters and main events
The characters in this chapter are more general than specific with the farmers and the migrants.  The main event seems to be the crops coming in, but being discarded due to the inability to turn a profit on them.

Themes in this chapter include wastefulness and inhumanity.

Will this finally push the migrants over the edge and start a revolution?
Why even plant these crops if you are unable to profit from them?

There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation.  There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize.  There is a failure here that topples all our success.  The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit.  And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.  And coroners must fill in the certificates-died of malnutrition-because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.

The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get dumped oranges, but the kerosine is sprayed.  And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath.  In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. 

We have consistently viewed the disdain of the locals towards migrants.  This chapter epitomizes it.  They would rather throw away valuable food than give it to migrants.

This chapter is in direct contrast to almost every chapter in the book.  We consistently see the genrosity of the Joads and other migrants throughout the book.  These people have very little to give, yet they are more than willing to help others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chapters 23 & 24 (Morgan, Dan, Mark)

Chapters 23 & 24 deal a lot with assimilating into a new community. The migrants have gotten so into the routine of building up a community during the night and leaving in the morning that it's become very easy for them. They very eagerly share their folklore, music, and religious practices with each other.

Now in the Joads' case they have found a more permanent community. It's one that has it's own laws and keeps very good control of themselves and their residents. The cast involves Tom, Pa, Ma, Ruthie, Winfeld, Rose of Sharon, Al, and Floyd Knowles.

Chapter 23

The theme of Chapter 23 would have to be finding comfort in a community. Though if asked to break that theme down we would say they were: Comfort, Folklore, Music, and Religion.


What kind of effect does music have on the migrants, specifically on their mental well-being?

What kind of release does alcohol give the migrants in The Grapes of Wrath?

Passages in Chapter 23:

"And always, if he had a little money, a man could get drunk. The hard edges gone, and the warmth. Then there was no loneliness, for a man could people his brain with friends, and he could find his enemies and destroy them. Sitting in a ditch, the earth grew soft under him. Failures dulled and the future was no threat. And hunger did not skulk about, but the world was soft and easy, and a man could reach the place he started for. The stars came down wonderfully close and the sky was soft. Death was a friend, and sleep was death’s brother. The old times came back — dear and warm…And the stars down so close, and sadness and pleasure so close together, really the same thing. Like to stay drunk all the time. Who says it’s bad? Who dares to say it’s bad?" (Page 447)

"Beside an irrigation ditch a preacher labored and the people cried. And the preacher paced like a tiger, whipping the people with his voice, and they groveled and whined on the ground. He calculated them, gauged them, played on them, and when they were all squirming on the ground he stooped down and of his great strength he picked each one up in his arms and shouted, Take 'em, Christ! and threw each one in the water. And when they were all in, waist deep in the water, and looking with frightened eyes at the master, he knelt down on the bank and he prayed for them; and he prayed that all men and women might grovel and whine on the ground. Men and women, dripping, clothes sticking tight, watched; then gurgling and sloshing in their shoes they walked back to the camp; to the tents, and they talked softly in wonder:

We been saved, they said. We’re washed white as snow. We won't never sin again.

And the children, frightened and wet, whispered together:

We been saved. We won’t sin no more.
Wisht I knowed what all the sins was, so I could do 'em." (Page 451)

Chapter 24

The theme of chapter 24 is the process of assimilating into a new community and building ties with your neighbors. Or we also thought it could be: Protecting your community, subterfuge, corruption in the law, and organization.


How far would you go for the sake of the bonds between you and your community?

How could this chapter raise cries of Communism?

Passages in Chapter 24:

"Huston's head sank down for a moment, and then he said softly, "O.K. Don't tell. But looka here. Don't knife your own folks. We're tryin' to get along, havin' fun an' keepin' order. Don't tear all that down. Jes' think about it. You're jes' harmin' yourself. " (Page 470)

"Jule said, "These here dances done funny things. Our people got nohing, but jes' because they can ast their frien's to come here to dance, sets 'em up an' makes 'em proud. An' the folks respects 'em 'count of these here dances." (Page 464)

Comparison: They are still in a tough boat. Work is scarce and the pay is barely existant. They are in another community, albeit this one is organized.

Contrast: This community is effective. They share resources and protect their own. In the previous chapters most of the tent communities were temporary. That is not the case with this one, they are self-governed and are able to sustain themselves.

Chaper 22

Tom gets a job working for Thomas making 25 cents an hour, he would be paid more but the farmers association limits the amount being paid to each person.
The Joads discovered public bathrooms as Ma went into the Mens.
 Every body in the family seems to be meeting new people such as when Ma meets Jim Rawley, the camp manager.
"responsibilities"  Tom gets a job while right in the morning every one else got up to start looking for jobs.
"Relief" The family has a sort of break when they find the camp to stay at and they are being treated like they are people and not Okies.

Why does Mrs. Sandry think Jim is the devil?
What is play acting?

This chapter is more of the Joads getting a break then having a hassle with life like they have had in the past.
They are similar however because they do not ALL have jobs yet.

Chapter 26 in the Grapes of Wrath

1. Chapter 26 was so packed full of events! Here is a list of events that occurred just in summary:

  • The Joad's left their "home" in the government sponsored camp. 
  • They hit the road and get a punctured tire and run into a business man who gives word to them about a job opportunity a few miles up the road. 
  • They arrive at the ranch, they soon realize that something is wrong due to the amount of cops surrounding the camp and the number of people crowding the entrance.
  • They learn how to pick peaches quickly, not to bruise any of them or they won't get paid their five cents. 
  • After long hours of working they have only but a dollar to show for their work. Then they went to the store and had to pay high prices. 
  • After eating a dollars worth of food, the family is still left hungry. 
  • Tom runs into Casey and his rioting friends.
  • They are confronted by an unknown group of people who confuse them for "reds."
  • Casey is killed in the confusion and Tom retaliates by avenging his death by murdering the man.
  • Tom goes into hiding due to his injuries. 
  • The price per gallon picked of peaches drops to two and a half cents.
  • The Joad's smuggled Tom in their truck and they left the ranch. 
  • Driving aimlessly, the Joads come across a potential work opportunity picking cotton. 
  • Tom agrees to hide out nearby until his injuries can heal up appropriately. 

  • The whole Joad family: Pa, Ma, Tom, Rose of Sharon, Al, Ruthie, Winfield, and Uncle John.
  • Preacher Casey
  • Huston
  • Willie
  • Jule
2. There were also many themes in this chapter:
  1. The importance of covering one another's backs in a family. 
  2. A hard work ethic doesn't always pay off. 
  3. Just how easy it is for corruption and taking advantage of starving workers. 
Also, there were two questions we found ourselves asking throughout the reading:

  1. What will it take to create a steady income for the Joads?
  2. Is their current reality worth the move and all they have subjected themselves to thus far?
Two passages that stood out to us in our reading:

1. The first is found on page 383 paragraph 6:

"Try an' tell 'em, Tom. They'll get two an' a half, jus' the minute we're gone. You know what two an' a half is-- that's one ton of peaches picked an' carried for a dollar." He dropped his head. "No-- you can't do it. You can't get your food for that. Can't eat for that."

2. A second passage is found on page 393 paragraph 1:

"They was a time when we was on the lan'. They was a boundary to us then. Ol' folks died off, an' little fellas come, an' we was always one thing-- we was the fambly-- kinda whole and clear. An' now we ain't clear no more. I can't get straight. They ain't nothin' keeps us clear. Al--he's a-hankerin' an' a-jibbitin' to go off on his own. An' Uncle John is jus' a-draggin' along. Pa's lost his place. He ain't the head no more. We're crackin' up, Tom. There ain't no fambly now. An' Rosasharn--" She looked around and found the girl's wide eyes. "She gonna have her baby an' they won't be no fambly. I don' know. I been a-tryin' to keep her goin'. Winfiel'--what's he gonna be, this-a-way? Gettin' wild, an' Ruthie too--like animals. Got nothin' to trus'. Don' go, Tom. Stay an' help."

3. A comparison to this chapter in particular would be that of the Arab Spring in the middle east. Why you ask? Well, looking at it from a simple stand point of: "How long will the people stand for it?" Throughout the book we see the injustices committed against the okies, time and time again we see corruption carried out against these people. There being paid next to nothing for their hard work, any progress of being made in creating a home for themselves is burned to the ground, their children are the butt of jokes and badgering in the schools, they are constantly mistreated and abused. But, how long will they let it go until they do something about it and rise up and make a change for themselves? Liken that to Egypt, Libya, and Syria, we see the people getting fed up with their current state of affairs (unlike in our case they have corrupt governments and dictators) they rise up and demand a change and overthrow their abuser. That's what we asked in these chapters. How long will the okies stand for it. 

A contrast in this chapter would be to that of earlier chapters in this book when at first there was a sense of hope and destiny in California. California was liken to that of heaven on earth. The Joads and thousands of others believed this to be true and we wonder if they still hold that to be so even with all they have gone through once in the land. It's hard to say, whenever there is progress they get pushed back. But, granted they sure are persistent and hard working. 

Chapter 26

  • Joad family leaves the Weedpatch camp
  • Joad family finds work at Hooper Ranch
  • Tom finds Casy leading a strike outside the Ranch
  • A man kills Casy for leading the strike, Tom is outraged and kills the man
  • Joad family leaves the Ranch and try to protect Tom, as well as find more work
  • Find a place that they might be able to get a job at
  • Joad family
  • Casy
  • Store Clerk
  • Family (sticking together)
  • Hatred towards Okies (ignorance of who they are)
  • Desperation
  • Should the rest of the Joad family have left Tom behind?
  • Is it right for Tom and his family to try to justify killing that man.
  •  Pg. 382
    • "Well, they was nice fellas, ya see. What made 'em bad was...They come a-runnin', and they give us some other stuff to eat--give it to us. Ya see?"
  • Pg. 386-387
    • "Tom looked down at the preacher. The light crossed...The water stung and burned."
  • The Joad family is on the move once again. We have seen this throughout the book, families moving from place to place trying to find work and make a living.
  •   Ma becomes the decision maker in the family. This is very different than the family government we saw early in the story. It also is very different than what most other families we like at this time.

chapter 22 Hannah and Austin

1.When the Joads arrive at Weedpatch camp they briefly spoke with the camp director then went off to bed. Tom was the first one to wake and he found a job paying $0.25 an hour, went off to work with Tim and Wilkie. Mr. Thomas hired Tom on the job. Ma and Jim Rolley Had coffee together and discussed about the camp. then the Lady's committee came and gave rose of sharron and Ma a tour and the rules of the place. Rose of Sharron was caught off guard by a crazy women named Mrs. Sandry saying that shes going to drop her baby (miscarriage) if she have ever clutch-an-hug dancing.

2. A good theme for this chapter is fresh start, Work is harder to find then they thought, and sticking together. 
question one: why do you think Mrs. Sandry try to scare Rose of Sharron about her baby?
question two: why was it so hard for Tom to find a job when Pa, Al, uncle John couldn't find any work?
Two passages that really stuck out to us was on page 294 and 295. in this passage they a discussing the farmers association and how there $0.30 wages are being dropped down to $0.25. Another good passage was on page 315 and 316, this is where Mrs. Joyce is telling the committee Lady's that the toilet paper is missing because her daughters have been eating green grapes because that's all they can afford. The committee Lady's tell her to go to the store and she will be given $5 credit to buy food, and she has to pay it back when she gets the money.

3.In this chapter you see a different side of the Oakies and the more tender side of people and the more caring and loving people who only want to look out for one another. It can compared to Charity's in todays society, where people band together to complete a goal and help others.Comparing the two camps that the Joads have gone to the first camp they were going to make Tom pay another 50 cents to sleep there although is family had already paid to sleep. At camp Weedpatch they make it easier to live in the circumstances and they dont have to pay to live there if they work for the camp, and its a more friendly enviorment.

Mianca and Kayleigh: The KKK

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Dan and Matt: FDR

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Nick and Brandon: The WPA

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Exploration 7: Migrant Workers

U.S. Marshal deputies escort several suspected illegal immigrants 
to an overnight holding facility.

            While reading The Grapes of Wrath it’s hard not to see the similarities between how migrant workers were treated in the past and how they are treated today. Today there is a lot of issues concerning illegal immigrants, specifically from Mexico, migrating north in search of work.  Now in the book the migrants are treated horribly. The locals consider these folk less than human, more like how one would regard an animal. The locals would call the migrants foreigners and even developed their own slurs specifically for the migrants like Okies, for example.
            Now in today’s world it is very similar. Men and women from Mexico will illegally cross the border to look for work, not unlike how Tom crossed the state border illegally and violated his parole. Parts of our society share the same view of these folks and the locals did in The Grapes of Wrath. There are many slurs directed towards these people as well as many harmful stereotypes. Both, the migrant workers from The Grapes of Wrath and illegal immigrants from our time, took ridiculously low wages just to feed their family. Then from that spawns the local’s fear, they are afraid they may lose their jobs to someone who will take less pay.
            I personally don’t think a man, in good conscience, should hate a man he knows nothing about. That’s why they demonize the migrant workers. The stories the Locals tell become truths for them. It’s easier to demonize the people and act cruel and uncaring towards them than actually see them as normal people.  The locals don’t feel selfish or cruel when they think they are holding off a horde of savages. I feel this fits perfectly with both cases.

Exploration 7: Progression is a Paradox

A theme that I see presenting itself within the book is “Progression is a Paradox.” What I mean by this is the migrants that moved to California did so because of change and progression in technology (tractors). Though when this progression in technology was occurring the workers in the fields of California were being treated like slaves which was receding the progress of equal rights in America.

When I researched this theme I found out that people may see Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal as paradoxical. The New Deal was designed to institute progress in the American economy which in theory would give Americans more freedom to do as they please. Some saw and still do see his social program as something that took away rights because of having more regulations. Also, I found out from the research that many people during the Great Depression pushed for higher, fairer wages. The progress taken toward these fair wages seems as though it would be good thing all around. This was not true for many of the business owners because they saw this progress as progress towards Communism which by popular American belief is a bad thing. The sites I used to get some of this information is below.

When it comes to progress throughout history, especially in technology, this theme presents itself. For example, the vacuum cleaner; this machine of mechanical wonder helped cut the time of sweeping the floor in half if not more. The problem though is with this new technology came a new standard for how clean a house should be. This in turn made it so this time saving device made it so the amount of time spent cleaning stayed the same or actually increased. An example from today is the beloved smart phones. They are made so it is easier to check your email, surf the web, make phone calls, and get an app that will do anything. Smart phones do accomplish this goal of making these things easier but it opens a door to a world with a need to “stay connected” all the time. This means people expect less time for replies, returning calls, status updates, and excreta. So in the end does a smart phone make life easier?

Families were "tractored out" of their homes. Is this a step forward or step back?

Political Changes

Political change underscored the cultural change. Franklin Roosevelt led New Deal Democrats, which took over the reins of government from the Republicans, who had maintained for a generation control of the government, utilized the mass media to promote their politics and American values, including belief in the “common man.” When Roosevelt created the New Deal it gave American's a sense of hope and a new found spirit. In time of a national depression, the President tries to instill faith in his people. We see this even today when Obama ran for president before his first term, his campaign slogan was all about hope and change during our recession.
Obama's campaign slogan in 2008, he wanted to instill hope in Americans.

Power/ Disparity Between Rich and Poor

               A theme that stood out to me in recent chapters was the corruptibility of authority. Power is a dangerous thing it seems in human society because the more you have of it the more you want. In chapters 22-24 of The Grapes of Wrath when the migrants are finally given a chance to construct a fresh society without corrupt officials or legal red tape, they create an almost utopian society where people help each other rather than only themselves. Those without greed, the poor migrants, have never had any real power so they never inherited the lust for money and control that the upper class did.  The ironic thing is that having more money or more power doesn’t make life any simpler, only more complex and aggravating. Maybe a rich person no longer needs to worry about money, but what often happens is that they end up being more concerned with it than ever before.  Those that are born lower class have nowhere to go but up. In many ways they are blessed with the abilities of compassion and kindness because they understand the struggles of being associated with the lowest rung of a societal hierarchy.
                In the Great Depression the rich got richer and the poor poorer. A rift between classes that existed was widened. A similar thing is happening today as a nation that is dominated by a middle class, has those people moving towards a new identification: rich or poor.  It is ironic that in a country which has a government that is run by the people as a whole, favors individualistic over group progression.

Rich Vs. Poor in America, but why is the middle class so fat?

Death exploration 7

Katie Holland
English 11z0.03
Professor Lohre
October 15 2012

One theme that keeps presenting its self in the book would be death. When researched I found that the government did not keep track of the amount of deaths during this ”Great Migration”. I would say this Is like today in the way that people die at a faster rate in time of needs (depression, war etc.) it seems as if the government now is doing what the government did then, ignore the amount of deaths. The number of Americans dying due to the great stress of not knowing if they are going to be able to feed their own families. I read a story on one of the pages that said two women had to help find food for their families. One women would walk on the paths of the wagons and pick up any vegetables left behind or that have fallen out, also she would gather fish from the fish market that the men would give her. The other women her husband had to go out and pick dandelions because their family hadn’t had any food for two days.    

This photo has nothing to do with my theme but i thought this photo was very heart breaking. a child asking why his dad cant have a job, and not understanding that the jobs weren't there to have is just unbelievable the pain that child and his family must have gone through is beyond my understanding. considering the fact i have everything i could ever want or need, i have a house someplace to sleep clothes on my back and food i cant imagine living without any of those things. just so heart breaking 

Morgan Kuntupis
English 1110.03 1:15-3:15
Mike Lohre
15 October 2012

A theme that I find that is re occurring and very important to The Grapes of Wrath is the importance of family. This is shown in the book when the family goes through many struggles whether it be from grandma and grandpa dying, to the family getting kicked off their land from the tenants. This can be related a lot to the present because today we still view family as the most important thing. Families stick together and face challenges just like the Joads did. This theme is important to me because I see a lot of similarities with the Joad family that my family has. For example Ma's job is to keep the family calm and to be the caretaker where as thats what my mom does in our family a lot. We can also relate this to the present if a family loses a job because of financial problems they will move the family to another place to hope for a better future.

This picture really grasped my attention. It gives you a vivid picture of the severity of the Dust Bowl and the struggles the family encountered traveling through this. It made it even more amazing to me of how well the Joads overall had kept it together. It also shows determination to me. Traveling through this could not be easy but families during this time period seemed to do whatever they could to make sure their family would have a better life. 

Exploration 7

Brandon Keirns
English 1110.03 1:15P.M.
Mike Lohre
October 15th 2012


                 Reading about the hooverville otherwise known as shanty towns blew my mind on how much people could go through during this time in these areas. The sizes of these hoovervilles ranged from just a small little corner to nearly full entire cities during this time. I can think of a few things that relates to modern  day times with the hooverville but the one that jumps to me the most that relates is shelter houses for homeless people. This really doesn't have a value to me because I have a home to live it, but i do like to help out the people in need any way that I can everyday.

Just showing how hard of a time this was, this is a hooverville just outside of Portland Oregon. A big city like Portland having a hooverville within the limits even if it is out west.

Minimum wage

Minimum wage was first established in 1938, and it was at 25 cents an hour. Surprisingly the first time it was established it was deemed unconstitutional in the Schechter Poltry Corp. vs. United States. Now the minimum wage, in Ohio, is $7.70 an hour, but, of course it varies from state to state. The highest is $9.04 an hour in Washington. Many people would still like the minimum wage go up. I do not blame them. Some one who is working for $7.70 and hour would have to work at least 26 hours to get about $200.00, and for a college student to find time to work that much would be very difficult. 

Hoovervilles Exploration 7

Reading this section with the camp made me begin to think about what it would be like and how big the camps would be and all sorts of different things. I searched Hoovervilles and so much information came up it was hard to retain it all. In some parts the Hoovervilles could be as big as a small city and house up to 1,200 people! This just absolutely blew my mind when you think of how many people that is in such a small area. The only thing i could relate a Hooverville to today is maybe a food bank in which homeless people could go and get a meal from and maybe spend the night if there is an open bed. I will copy a link to the whole page which is very interesting to read.

Tacoma's "Hollywood-on-the-Tideflats" was burned by city officials in May 1942, but was soon reoccupied and rebuilt. Courtesy Tacoma Public Library. Click image to see more pictures from the Tacoma Public Library Digital Archives.

Exploration #7

Kyle Massey
English 1110.03
Mike Lohre
15 October 2012

        A common theme that is recurring endlessly is the theme of family, and how unity is necessity in times of despair. It can be said that the immigrants as a whole are all in part of one big family. They all are in pursuit of happiness. Every one of those immigrants knows exactly what the other one is going through, creating a bond that can't be described in words. Just as when Ma Joad gave a hungry child food, in which she herself, was struggling to provide for her family. This theme can be seen throughout the world from tribal families in far remotes, to families developed within the walls of a state reformatory. All share a common bond. Instances within history can be traced back to World War II when Jews where locked up and robbed of all human rights. The bond those prisoners share can never be expressed through words.

        A group known as the Special Interrogation group (SIG) was founded in Britain. This group was developed by volunteer Jews, whose mission was to save fellow Jews and sabotage missions of the Axis force. Yet again we see the power of unity and "family" between the volunteer soldiers and the Jews they are risking life and limb to save. This is all part of that bond that cannot be described through words. The bond of brotherhood, the bond of friendship, the bond of “family”.
Three volunteers from SIG. December 20, 1941

The Importance of Music

Michael Sullivan
English 1110 M/W 1:15-3:15
Mr. Lohre
October 15, 2012

Soothing Music

Thus far in our reading in The Grapes of Wrath I have found an underlying theme of the effects of music on the people, particularly the okies. These people were going through tough times, during many circumstances they found themselves doing things they would have previously never imagined, as well as witness such acts indecency done to others. In the new life they found themselves in people were being torn apart, family against family, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, everyone was looking out for themselves. Simple acts of kindness were too far and in-between. But, once these people found out that there were yet others facing the same battles (finding food, work, and a place to live) they would join together in a community, or a Hooverville, if you will. They would group together categorized by their home states and even more importantly their common misfortune. In these little microcosms, there was life, order, and genuine generosity shared amongst it's dwellers. Even more than just sharing common ties through circumstance, poverty, and injustice, they also came together through way of music. 
In recent studies, I have found some very interesting surveys about how people view music. Here are some charts I found of surveys done on people particularly between the ages of 16-24 years old:

As we can see from the charts above, music is very important to people. I don't believe that that fact is new at all but rather is characteristic of all generations. We all enjoy music, and it brings us together. And in The Grapes of Wrath we see many examples of this fact being lived out by these people in their camps. We learn that they favor the guitar, fiddle, and harmonica in chapter 23. For example we see just how they all come near when these instruments are played and even have a special event each week just to enjoy their music and dance and escape the pressures of their everyday lives:

"These three in the evening, harmonica and fiddle and guitar. Playing a reel and tapping out the tune, and the big deep strings of the guitar beating like a heart and the harmonica's sharp chords and the skirl and the squeal of the fiddle. People have to move close. They can't help it. "Chicken Reel" now, and the feet tap and a young lean buck takes three quick steps, and his arms hang limp. The square closes in and the dancing starts, feet on the bare ground beating dull, strike with your heels. Hands 'round and swing. Hair falls down, and panting breaths, Lean to the side now."

This kind of love for music and desire for participating in musically focused events is still alive today. We frequently invite music into our lives via the radio, iPods, movies etc., much of our society today enjoys music all across the board. We have many genres of music and we find music being played most anywhere, our cars, businesses, gyms, and restaurants you name it! Music has always been a big part of my life, and what I listen to often affects my mood and my thought life. Music is also another way I have found to Honor God; He too enjoys music and songs of praise. I can completely relate to the okies, it’s hard to even imagine life without music. So thank you Lord for blessing us with music!

Seen above are two Jewish men celebrating the Feat of Tabernacles, one of the most festive feasts in Judaism, anticipating the return of the Messiah, Jesus!