The Grapes of Wrath Summary
No, not the sour grapes of questionable freshness that gave you weird stomach rumblings before your last soccer game; we're talking about Steinbeck's classic novel about the Depression. So...not actually a happier topic. Sorry!
|American Literature||All American Literature|
|Author||Steinbeck - John Steinbeck|
|Early 20th-Century Literature||Early 20th-Century American Literature|
Lies and Deceit
Mine was a bummer, though. There wasn't even a surprise party, because my folks got kicked
off their land to make room for job-eliminating tractors.
I found my peeps at my uncle’s house, planning a West coast road trip to get jobs, and maybe
a nice tan.
Everybody was there: Ma and Pa and Uncle John, and Grandma and Grandpa, and my little sister
and my pregnant sister, and my three brothers and one brother-in-law, and my best buddy,
Apparently this was gonna be one crowded car ride to California. Good thing we stocked
up on barf bags. After some bonding and pig-slaughtering, everybody
piled into the Joad-mobile. Grandpa didn’t want to leave, but Ma slipped him a Mickey,
and we were on our way.
Doping Grandpa might not have been the best idea, because he sort of… died afterwards.
On the bright side, I finally scored the window seat!
Route 66 was a real drag. If you weren’t out desperately looking for work, you were
probably getting the runaround from a cheap boss, a greedy mechanic, or a scary policeman.
Plus, folks were telling us that California wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
And it didn’t help that we had to pay just to rough it on the side of the road.
Some smart guy cop forced us to leave one campground because we were Okies, and I'm
pretty sure he didn't mean that we were “okey dokey.”
The worst part, though, was when Ma dropped the bomb that Grandma had been dead for days.
Ma hadn't told us, because she thought we'd get pulled over. So basically… we were driving
around with a corpse in the car. Thanks, Mom. Oh, it gets worse. One worker told us that
the “Move to Cali” campaign was just a ruse to stuff the state with cheap labor.
Fight the authorities, and you'd end up blacklisted or dead.
For example: some poor shmuck in our camp tried to stand up for himself and ask for
a contract, and the police started shooting at him.
During the scuffle I tripped a trigger-happy cop, which is probably a violation of my parole,
and good old Casey took the blame to save his fellow man. What a guy!
So all in all, things weren’t exactly going according to plan. By the time the angry,
drunken mob arrived to trash the camp, I was definitely having second thoughts about this
Too bad I couldn’t just skip town like Rose of Sharon's baby-daddy.
Luckily, I found Reverend Casey again, and I was really stoked! Aaaaand then he was killed
in an anti-union scuffle.
I lost my head a little after that, and axed a guy. Literally. Definitely a parole violation
After the drama it was back to the daily grind, only this time I had to be stealthy about
it, to avoid Jail 2.0.
Rose of Sharon lost her baby, which was another tearjerker, but she did find a second calling:
breast-feeding starving men. Man, what a downer. Somebody tell Steinbeck
to put me in a comedy next time!