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Quotes

Quote #1

And then all of a sudden, the family began to function. Pa got up and a lighted another lantern. Noah from a box in the kitchen, brought out the bow-bladed butchering knife and whetted it on a worn little carborundum stone. And he laid the scraper on the chopping block, and the knife beside it. Pa brought two sturdy sticks, each three feet long, and pointed the ends with the ax, and he tied strong ropes, double half-hitched, to the middle of the sticks. (10.114)

The Joad family seems at times to be able to communicate without words. When they are at their best, they run like a well-oiled machine, knowing exactly what chores to do next. However, they are not always able to communicate in this way. When times get bad, they have a harder time being as tuned into one another.

Quote #2

And still the family stood about like dream walkers, their eyes focused panoramically, seeing no detail, but the whole dawn, the whole land, the whole texture of the country at once. (10.204)

We feel like the Joads are very detail-oriented people, people who keep their nose to the grindstone and who very rarely have time to consider the bigger picture. Why is it significant that they see the "whole land" at this moment? What are they doing?

Quote #3

She walked for the family and held her head straight for the family. (13.169)

Ma Joad is pretty much the pillar of the Joad family, no doubt about it. Without her, we don't know how far the Joads would get in their quest for a new life. She supports the family in a way that no one else, not even Pa Joad, can.

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