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The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
Pa Joad Timeline and Summary
When Tom returns home, Pa Joad is the first person he encounters. Pa Joad packs the family car. With the help of other Joad men, Pa buries Grampa Joad. When Pa decides that the family will leave Tom behind with the broken touring car, he and Ma Joad get into a fight. At the expensive campground, Pa hears dismal tales of California. Because it's so hot outside, Pa goes swimming in the Colorado River. While swimming in the Colorado River, Pa talks to a man and his son, and they tell him dismal tales of California. When the Joads reach Bakersfield, Pa Joad takes Granma's body to the Bakersfield coroner's office. As Ma Joad gets breakfast ready, Pa Joad gets some meat from the grocery store near the Hooverville. When Uncle John gives Pa the five dollars he's been saving, Pa gives him two dollars to spend on alcohol. When it looks like the Hooverville is not the place to be, Pa Joad helps to load up the car and pack up the Joad camp. The morning after they arrive in Weedpatch, Pa Joad, Uncle John, and Al look for work. At the Weedpatch dance, Pa talks to a group of older men about the possibilities of organizing migrant workers around a cause. At the peach camp, Pa picks peaches. Pa picks cotton with his family. Loaded with a fatter wallet than he's had in a long time, Pa buys groceries and convinces Ma Joad to buy Cracker Jack for Ruthie and Winfield. Pa Joad talks to the Wainwrights about Al's randy ways. More cotton to be picked. As the winter rains start pouring down on the cotton camp, Pa Joad convinces the men to help him dig troughs to keep the creek water from rising too much too quickly. When it seems like Rose of Sharon has stopped screaming from labor pains, Pa checks in on her and sees the stillborn baby. Pa builds a platform inside the boxcar and helps hoist his family and their belongings upon it. When the floodwaters get too high, Pa Joad leaves with Ma Joad, Rose of Sharon, Winfield, and Ruthie, and takes cover in a barn.