In the weathered cornfields of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, where everything has been destroyed by recent years of harsh weather, the author, John Steinbech, paints a very descriptive picture; he describes the land as been filled with thick dust causing the farmers to wear their handkerchiefs over the mouths and noses. The dust is so thick that at night it blocks out the stars. In a region of the country that once possessed laughter, love, and crop growth is now filled with tears, sadness, and dying corn. Now, most local families are scrounging to survive. The economic downfall of the nineteen-thirties forces migrants to move westbound to California, setting vagrants against local people and landowners against the poor. Farmers forced off their land by bankers causes finger pointing all around and in some sense makes everyone a victim; the farmers blame the landowners, yet the landowners are people too and need revenue to pay the bank representatives and therefore, they blame the bank representatives. The bank representatives are trying to earn a living too, so they in-turn blame the next hierarchy and so forth. The Dust Bowl economic tragedy has divided the rich from the poor, and upper class form lower. Steinbech toggles between different points of views to ensure all viewpoints are captured. The Joads assume the position of the typical individual displaced and through them, Steinbeck words are visualized by the reader.
The summarized story starts with the main character Tom Joad,