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The Grapes of Wrath
1. Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Penguin Books. New York.
The protagonists of this novel were the Joads and all the other families looking for work during this time period. They simply wanted the opportunity to work and make a living but there were some people who did not want to grant them this chance. These people would be the antagonists of the novel. This would include the people who owned the land and some of the people who were already settled in California and did not like to see all the travelers who were coming there in search of a new start.
This story takes place during the time of the depression. The story begins with Tom Joad being released from prison and he is traveling home to be with his family. He has not communicated with his family in a long time and his return home will be a surprise to them because he was let out of prison early. On his way home, he meats up with his old pastor, Jim Casey, and they travel together. When he finally gets back to his home, he finds nobody there and the house is in shambles. He learns that they were forced to leave by the bank, or the monster, as some preferred to call it. Tom also learned that is family had gone to his cousins so he goes there to find them. He gets there just in time because they were getting ready to leave for California in search of work. The whole family and Casey then loaded up and headed to California. The trip was a rough one and grandma and grandpa Joad did not make it. Grandpa died along the way and they had to stop and bury him because they had no money for a funeral. Grandma died just before they entered California. The Joads had heard that they could find work in the fruit picking section of the state and after the rough journey, that is where they ended up. Thousands of people had beaten the Joads to California and there was no work for them. They had to life in a camp that was set up for the new comers. There was a lot of starvation in this camp and the living conditions were not very good. The Joads had one confrontation with the police at this camp and Floyd punched a cop. He had to run until Casey took the blame and had to face the punishment. Floyd then came back to be with his family. The people who did not want all of these people such as the Joads in California would do such things as burn down the camps. The Joads heard that the camp that they were living in was going to be burned down so they left. Along the way, they met up with someone who told them that there was work up the road and there was. They were paid five cents per bucket of fruit. The price was then dropped to two cents so they left this ranch. The Joads then came across a government owned camp where work and lodging was provided. The living conditions were seen as decent because of the running water and the dances and such during the evenings. The family then had to leave the camp because the police had caught up with Tom for an earlier incident in which he killed a cop. This was the climax of the story. The falling action of the novel is when the Joads find another job picking cotton. They live in an old boxcar with another family and they also live in a barn. Rain then hits the area keeps up for a long time. Tom's wife also has her baby during the falling action.
I can relate the character Floyd to my uncle, Dan Krafka. Floyd stood up for his family and his wife when he punched the cop. The cop was going to make Floyd's wife work even when she was pregnant. I see Dan as a great family man. He would not let anyone treat his family in a way that he did not approve. He would have acted the same
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U.S. Route 66, Dust Bowl, English-language films, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Joad, Wrath
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