Grapes of Wrath Essay
The Grapes of Wrath Study Questions
1. The importance of the land to the people
a) Why are the Joads and thousands like them thrown off the land? Due to increased demands during the time, the Joads and thousands like them had spent a great sum of money purchasing farming equipment. However as these demands decreased, farmers were left in major debt. Since the farmers were not able to pay off the debt, they were “thrown off” their land. As clearly summarized in the book, any man can “hold the land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that. Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank,” but due to the Dust Bowl their entire life …show more content…
b) Why do the women watch the men so carefully and feel safe when the men do not break? The women watched carefully because they knew that the men did not break when they “lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant” (3). Once they knew the men did not break they felt safe, because they needed someone to remain strong both mentally and physically. If the men remained strong both mentally and physically, the women gained hope and confidence and believed that they would be ok on their future journey.
c) As the story progresses, Ma emerges more and more as the strength of the family. Find examples of her taking charge, getting the family to California, protecting the family, helping others, counseling Tom, and guiding Rose of Sharon. Throughout the book, Ma is a source of faith and relief for Tom. “She came near to him then, and stood close; and she said passionately, “Tommy, don’t you go fightin’ ‘em alone. They’ll hunt you down like a coyote”(76). Ma recognizes that if Tom