Monday, October 1, 2012

Dan's Interpretation of Chapter Eight

While reading Chapter Eight I found myself engaged and felt emotionally invested with Joad.  He hadn’t seen his family while he was in prison and had no communication with them.  So seeing them after that extended period had to weigh on his mind.  His family was open and accepting of his arrival, a little surprised as well.  My interpretation of this chapter’s theme would be family and reuniting.  Everyone is happy to see “Tommy” come home. For example, here’s the passage in which Joad reunites with his mother. 

She moved toward him lithely, soundlessly in her bare feet, and her face was full of wonder.  Her small hand felt his arm, felt the soundness of his muscles.  And then her fingers went up to his cheek as a blind man’s fingers might.  And her joy was nearly like sorrow.  Tom pulled his underlip between his teeth and bit it.  Her eyes went wonderingly to his bitten lip, and saw the little line of blood against his teeth and the trickle of blood down his lip.  Then she knew, and her control came back, and her hand dropped. (Page 101)


  1. Tom's mother definitely had a much more emotional response to Tom's return than his father did. One ended in a loving embrace, the other with a joking prank, says something about the parents' respective characters.

  2. this was a very good part, i could just visualize the look on her face.

  3. I would definitely agree that the overall theme of chapter 8 would be family. John Steinbeck does a very good job of making us connect with Tom Joad. We really get to feel what he feels.

  4. i think family is a reoccurring theme through this entire book. but this chapter is was very clear that it was the theme. i also agree i was able to see the look on his moms face as she walked up to him


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