Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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. 


  1. Very good analysis. Those themes definitely fit this chapter. I also really like the contrast you chose. It really shows how reality is different from their hopes.

  2. I really like the comparison you make to the Arab spring with this chapter i think they go together very well.

  3. I definitely liked the question as to whether they should have left Oklahoma. Given their circumstances the answer seems pretty easy.

  4. I loved the passages you chose! I would also have to agree with Austin. You did a very good job explaining as to why you would choose to compare the Arab spring in this chapter.


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