Grapes of Wrath Essay

1473 Words 6 Pages
     The Joad family is forced to move to California because of the Oklahoma Dust

Bowl, which has made it impossible for them to earn a livelihood through farming.

Drought and depression has made it impossible for farmers to grow a substantial amount

to live on. As inflation rises and wages drop, a gigantic worker migration heads West in

search of Jobs. They have seen notices asking for workers in the western part of the

United States, and travel thinking that they will find gainful employment. However there is

much to learn about the United States in its economic turmoil. During the depression,

thousands of people looked for work, and were cheated every step of the way. The

Grapes of Wrath, by John
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They hear many

stories from other migratory workers about how they lost their land to the depression.

Whether it was increased rent by corrupt landowners or a typical drought, the result was

always the same, families would have to move away in search of new jobs. However,

everyone was so caught up in the hopeful prosperity of new land that they were blinded by

the reality.

     By the time they reach the California border, it becomes clear that they will not be

treated with respect by the officials or local settlers in their new state. The grandmother

dies, having been ill for sometime, before they cross into California. They are told to move

on, and camp out near Hooverville, in a settlement of migrant farmers outside the town.

They meet a man named Floyd Knowles who tells the Joads that he has been in California

for six months but that it has been impossible to get enough to eat. Tom’s mother sits in

the tent making stew, with the children of the camp gathering around. Tom tries to send

them away, but she cannot refuse them food. She tells them that she does not have enough

food to feed all of them, but she will let them scrape the pot with sticks. Floyd tells the

men that there is work up north, picking fruit. They will have to travel 200 miles, and the

Joads would rather not move again. They encounter a contractor who offers them a job

picking fruit up north. Floyd asks to see

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