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)