Study Guide

The Grapes of Wrath Chapter 6

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 6

  • Tom and Casy inspect the Joad home, but something is amiss. It's completely empty, but nothing has been stolen.
  • The two deduce that there aren't any neighbors around. If there were neighbors, the house would have been pulled apart, and the lumber would have been stolen.
  • Muley Graves stops by. Muley is an old friend of the Joads, and he's gone a bit batty. But he knows what's going on.
  • Tom's parents are staying at his Uncle John's house, and his family is getting ready to move to California.
  • Muley tells Tom about how his family lost their land. Willey Feeley, another family friend, drove the tractor that dug up their yard and that crushed their house.
  • Muley's own family has gone west, but he won't budge. He's made it his job to be a perpetual thorn in the landowners' sides. He doesn't want to leave his land.

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  • Since Uncle John Joad's house is eight miles away, the men decide to camp at the abandoned Joad home for the night.
  • Muley shares the jackrabbits he caught and killed with Tom and Casy, and Tom has a really good time skinning and cooking the rabbit meat.
  • On the horizon, the men see a car's lights.
  • They hide in the cornrows while the men investigate the campsite. Technically, the men are trespassing on private property. Muley knows all of the landowners' habits and routines.
  • The men decide to spend the night in a riverbed, well-hidden from the world.