Study Guide

The Grapes of Wrath Transience

By John Steinbeck


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At the heart of The Grapes of Wrath is change, and we watch families cope as they are forced to change their lives, their homes, and their dreams.

Change is general is cast in a very harsh light in this novel because it is imposed upon thousands of farmers and families who would otherwise prefer to remain right where they are. The Joads learn to cope with the great changes in their life by sticking together and by reaching out to other families.

Questions About Transience

  1. Who changes the most in this novel?
  2. How does the Joad's lifestyle change over the course of their journey to California?
  3. Do any characters fight change in this novel? If so, what happens when they fight change?
  4. Why doesn't Muley Graves follow his family?

Chew on This

Resisting change in the world of The Grapes of Wrath results in either death or madness.

Not one character wants the change that he/she faces.