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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath


by John Steinbeck

Tom Joad Timeline and Summary

  • Yeehaw. Tom gets out of jail.
  • A truck driver gives Tom a ride home.
  • Tom meets Reverend Casy under a tree.
  • Camping is fun, especially when you get to chill with Muley Graves and Reverend Casy in a riverbed.
  • The Joads are happy to see Tom.
  • During the first leg of the journey westward, Tom drives the family car.
  • With his father, uncle, and brother's help, Tom digs his grandfather's grave.
  • After giving a one-eyed mechanic some good advice, Tom fixes the Wilson's touring car.
  • The campground owner is snarky, and Tom can't help but pick a wee fight with him.
  • Time for swimming! Tom chills in the Colorado River with his family.
  • Noah tells Tom he's going to leave the family, and Tom tries to convince him otherwise.
  • Truck driving time! Tom takes the wheel again.
  • Floyd Knowles gives Tom some good advice at the Hooverville camp.
  • In back of the Joad tent at Hooverville, Tom and Casy chat about how grim things are.
  • Just as the mean policeman is about to run after Floyd Knowles, Tom trips him.
  • After messing with the law, Tom hides out in the willows.
  • Time for the Joads to pack up and push out; Tom helps.
  • Uncle John is missing, and Tom finds him drunk by a stream. Tom knocks him out, and carries him to the Joad truck.
  • A group of ruffians stop the Joad truck from driving south and tell Tom to get out of town.
  • As he turns the truck around, Tom sobs quietly.
  • Tom drives the family to Weedpatch camp.
  • The smell of delicious breakfast brings Tom, Timothy, and Wilkie Wallace together.
  • After breakfast, Tom and the Wallaces venture out of the camp to find work.
  • Mr. Wallace, a smalltime farmer, gives Tom work and tells him about the Farmer's Association, to boot.
  • The Weedpatch dance committee recruits Tom to be a bouncer.
  • Jule Vitela is Tom's co-bouncer, and the two hit it off.
  • Three rabble-rousers infiltrate the Weedpatch dance like spies, and Tom helps kick them out.
  • The Joads need to leave the camp in order to find work, so Tom says goodbye to Wilkie and Jule.
  • The Joads' tire pops, and Tom and Al fix it like MacGyver.
  • Tom drives the family to a peach farm.
  • That very same day, Tom turns into a machine and picks, like, a million peaches.
  • When they first arrived at the peach camp, Tom noticed people picketing outside of the gates – he wants answers.
  • By scooting under some barbed wire, Tom sneaks out of the peach camp.
  • Holy smokes, is that Reverend Casy? It is! Tom and Casy are reunited.
  • Reverend Casy tells Tom stories of prison life.
  • Something is rustling in the bushes outside of Casy's tent, and the men high tail it out of there.
  • Someone throws a pick axe into Casy's head, knocking him dead.
  • Tom strikes a man with the very same pick axe that has just killed Reverend Casy.
  • Someone hits Tom's face, breaking his nose and tearing his cheek open.
  • After swimming across a ditch, Tom sneaks back into the peach camp.
  • With a throbbing face, Tom can't sleep.
  • The next morning, while the rest of his Joads pick peaches, Tom hides out in the cabin with Rose of Sharon.
  • The Joads sneak Tom out of the peach camp nestled between two mattresses.
  • While the Joads live in an abandoned box car, Tom makes his home nearby in the woods.
  • One night, Tom's mother brings him pork chops and tells him he is in danger of being caught.
  • Tom tells his mother he wants to be like Reverend Casy and help organize people, help fight inequality.
  • Tom says goodbye to his mother for good.