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““The Grapes of Wrath”The Grapes of Wrath”
Discussion notesDiscussion notes
Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21
 ““We ain’t foreign.”:We ain’t foreign.”:
– Some critics...
Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21
 AngerAnger
– Landowners hate theLandowners hate the
Oki...
Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21
Steinbeck says theSteinbeck says the
landowners ignored t...
Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21
 What Casy finallyWhat Casy finally
learns in jail after...
Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26
 Chapter 25 details theChapter 25 details the
deliberate...
Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26
 ““Well, they was nice fellas,Well, they was nice fellas...
Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26
 Steinbeck’s depictionSteinbeck’s depiction
of extreme p...
Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26
 Today, some argueToday, some argue
that prosperousthat ...
Roger and MeRoger and Me
Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26
In “Roger and Me”:In “Roger and Me”:
 The pursuit of mon...
Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30
 By the time we reach theBy the time we reach the
end of...
Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30
 TransformationsTransformations
– Emerson’s “Oversoul” h...
Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30
The transformation of Jim CasyThe transformation of Jim C...
Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30
 All of Casy’s teachingsAll of Casy’s teachings
crystall...
Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30
 ““Well, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got aWell, ...
That controversial endingThat controversial ending
 What it reveals:What it reveals:
 TThose who do not share,hose who d...
That controversial endingThat controversial ending
 The religious overtones areThe religious overtones are
apparent: the ...
That controversial endingThat controversial ending
 What’s more, the name RoseWhat’s more, the name Rose
of Sharon comes ...
That controversial endingThat controversial ending
 The bigger picture isThe bigger picture is
this: The ultimatethis: Th...
Test #3: PreviewTest #3: Preview
 30 multiple choice questions that cover chapters 19-30 multiple choice questions that c...
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Grapes of wrath main 19 30

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Grapes of Wrath Chs 19-30

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Grapes of wrath main 19 30

  1. 1. ““The Grapes of Wrath”The Grapes of Wrath” Discussion notesDiscussion notes
  2. 2. Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21  ““We ain’t foreign.”:We ain’t foreign.”: – Some critics chargedSome critics charged Steinbeck was racist in theSteinbeck was racist in the implication that theimplication that the migrant farmers weremigrant farmers were somehow better than thesomehow better than the Filipinos or Mexicans thatFilipinos or Mexicans that had traditionally made uphad traditionally made up California’s agriculturalCalifornia’s agricultural workforce, simply becauseworkforce, simply because the farmers were whitethe farmers were white Americans.Americans. – However, the broaderHowever, the broader issue went beyond raceissue went beyond race and to the changing socialand to the changing social landscape: Now it wasn’tlandscape: Now it wasn’t just foreigners who werejust foreigners who were being oppressed.being oppressed.
  3. 3. Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21  AngerAnger – Landowners hate theLandowners hate the Okies. The storeownersOkies. The storeowners hate the Okies. The nativehate the Okies. The native California workers hateCalifornia workers hate the Okies: “Thesethe Okies: “These goddamn Okies are dirtygoddamn Okies are dirty and ignorant.”and ignorant.” – The Okies are gettingThe Okies are getting angry: “A fallow field is aangry: “A fallow field is a sin, and the unused land asin, and the unused land a crime against thincrime against thin children.”children.” – In a land of plenty, theyIn a land of plenty, they are starving.are starving.
  4. 4. Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21 Steinbeck says theSteinbeck says the landowners ignored thelandowners ignored the three cries of history:three cries of history: 1.1. When propertyWhen property accumulates in too fewaccumulates in too few hands, it is taken awayhands, it is taken away from the many.from the many. 2.2. When a majority ofWhen a majority of people are hungry andpeople are hungry and cold, they will take bycold, they will take by force what they need.force what they need. 3.3. Repression works only toRepression works only to strengthen and knit thestrengthen and knit the repressed.repressed.
  5. 5. Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21Discussion notes: Chapters 19-21  What Casy finallyWhat Casy finally learns in jail afterlearns in jail after giving himself upgiving himself up to save Tom andto save Tom and Floyd is that man’sFloyd is that man’s spiritualspiritual brotherhood mustbrotherhood must express itself inexpress itself in social unity. Hesocial unity. He becomes a laborbecomes a labor organizer.organizer.
  6. 6. Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26  Chapter 25 details theChapter 25 details the deliberate destruction of thedeliberate destruction of the harvests in order to keepharvests in order to keep prices up, while children areprices up, while children are starving to death.starving to death.  Steinbeck refers to this as aSteinbeck refers to this as a “crime that goes beyond“crime that goes beyond denunciation” and “a sorrowdenunciation” and “a sorrow that weeping cannotthat weeping cannot symbolize.”symbolize.”  ““In the eyes of the peopleIn the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in thethere is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is aeyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls ofgrowing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes ofthe people the grapes of wrath are filling and growingwrath are filling and growing heavy for the vintage.”heavy for the vintage.”
  7. 7. Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26  ““Well, they was nice fellas,Well, they was nice fellas, ya see. What made em’ya see. What made em’ bad was they needed stuff.bad was they needed stuff. An’ I begin to see, then.An’ I begin to see, then. It’s need that makes allIt’s need that makes all the trouble. I ain’t got itthe trouble. I ain’t got it worked out.”worked out.”  Luke 23:34: “Father,Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them. For theyforgive them. For they know not what they do.”know not what they do.”  Casy’s last words: “YouCasy’s last words: “You fellas don’t know whatfellas don’t know what you’re a-doin. You’reyou’re a-doin. You’re helpin’ to starve kids.”helpin’ to starve kids.”
  8. 8. Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26  Steinbeck’s depictionSteinbeck’s depiction of extreme poverty isof extreme poverty is not without relevancynot without relevancy today. In his time,today. In his time, homelessness andhomelessness and despair existed withindespair existed within the larger context ofthe larger context of the Depression, andthe Depression, and the general publicthe general public was, for a while atwas, for a while at least, genuinelyleast, genuinely touched and angeredtouched and angered by the suffering ofby the suffering of migrants.migrants.
  9. 9. Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26  Today, some argueToday, some argue that prosperousthat prosperous Americans seem allAmericans seem all too willing totoo willing to accept theaccept the presence ofpresence of homeless peoplehomeless people on the streets andon the streets and a desperatea desperate “underclass” in the“underclass” in the ghettos.ghettos.
  10. 10. Roger and MeRoger and Me
  11. 11. Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26Discussion notes: Chapters 22-26 In “Roger and Me”:In “Roger and Me”:  The pursuit of money is aThe pursuit of money is a perfectly legitimate activity inperfectly legitimate activity in our society: It is the basis ofour society: It is the basis of capitalism.capitalism.  But what happens when, inBut what happens when, in the quest for the dollar,the quest for the dollar, human values are forgotten?human values are forgotten? – In the context of theIn the context of the novel, banks force peoplenovel, banks force people from their homes; bigfrom their homes; big farmers eat up littlefarmers eat up little farmers; landownersfarmers; landowners exploit workers.exploit workers.  At what point does the pursuitAt what point does the pursuit of money turn into a crime?of money turn into a crime?
  12. 12. Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30  By the time we reach theBy the time we reach the end of the book, theend of the book, the transformation from thetransformation from the single family to the humansingle family to the human family is complete:family is complete: – The Joads andThe Joads and Wainwrights live in theWainwrights live in the same box car.same box car. – When Al tears down theWhen Al tears down the tarp that hangs in thetarp that hangs in the middle of the boxcar, “themiddle of the boxcar, “the families in the car werefamilies in the car were one.”one.” – Al and Aggie decide to getAl and Aggie decide to get married, completing themarried, completing the literal and symbolicliteral and symbolic merger of the twomerger of the two families.families.
  13. 13. Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30  TransformationsTransformations – Emerson’s “Oversoul” hasEmerson’s “Oversoul” has the consequence of livingthe consequence of living by the truth thatby the truth that humankind is bound tohumankind is bound to one another with spiritualone another with spiritual bonds. We becomebonds. We become responsible for whatresponsible for what happens to our neighborhappens to our neighbor and to society in general.and to society in general. – This principle isThis principle is exemplified in Ma, Rose ofexemplified in Ma, Rose of Sharon, the Wilsons, andSharon, the Wilsons, and the Wainwrights.the Wainwrights. – But nowhere is thisBut nowhere is this manifested more than inmanifested more than in Jim Casy and Tom Joad.Jim Casy and Tom Joad.
  14. 14. Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30 The transformation of Jim CasyThe transformation of Jim Casy  ““Maybe it ain’t a sin. Maybe it’s just the way folks is … There ain’tMaybe it ain’t a sin. Maybe it’s just the way folks is … There ain’t no sin, and there ain’t no virtue.”no sin, and there ain’t no virtue.”  ““What’s this call, this sperit? An I says, ‘It’s love. I love people soWhat’s this call, this sperit? An I says, ‘It’s love. I love people so much I’m fit to bust, sometimes.’much I’m fit to bust, sometimes.’  ““Maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the HolyMaybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit – the human sperit – the whole shebang. Maybe all menSperit – the human sperit – the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.”got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.”  ““I ain’t sayin I’m like Jesus. But I got tired like Him, an’ I gotI ain’t sayin I’m like Jesus. But I got tired like Him, an’ I got mixed up like Him, an’ I went into the wilderness like Him . . .mixed up like Him, an’ I went into the wilderness like Him . . . There was the hills, an’ there was me, and we wasn’t separate noThere was the hills, an’ there was me, and we wasn’t separate no more. We was one thing. An’ that one thing was holy.”more. We was one thing. An’ that one thing was holy.”  ““An’ I got thinkin … how we was holy when we was one thing, an’An’ I got thinkin … how we was holy when we was one thing, an’ mankin’ was holy when it was one thing. An’ it on’y got unholymankin’ was holy when it was one thing. An’ it on’y got unholy when one mis’able little fella got the bit in his teeth an’ run off hiswhen one mis’able little fella got the bit in his teeth an’ run off his own way, kickin’ and draggin’ an’ fightin.’”own way, kickin’ and draggin’ an’ fightin.’”
  15. 15. Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30  All of Casy’s teachingsAll of Casy’s teachings crystallize in hiscrystallize in his disciple: Tomdisciple: Tom – In prison, Tom learnedIn prison, Tom learned to mind his ownto mind his own business and to live onebusiness and to live one day at a time. By theday at a time. By the end of the book, heend of the book, he prepares to leave hisprepares to leave his family to continue whatfamily to continue what “Casy done”: He“Casy done”: He dedicates himself todedicates himself to work for thework for the improvement of hisimprovement of his people, though it maypeople, though it may mean imprisonment ormean imprisonment or his own death.his own death.
  16. 16. Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30Discussion notes: Chapters 27-30  ““Well, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got aWell, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one –soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one – an’ then – then it don’t matter. Then I’ll be aroun’an’ then – then it don’t matter. Then I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where – wherever youin the dark. I’ll be ever’where – wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry peoplelook. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a copcan eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed,beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’rewhy, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an – I’ll be in the way kids laugh whenmad an – I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live inwhen our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build – why, I’ll be there. See?”the houses they build – why, I’ll be there. See?” (419)(419)
  17. 17. That controversial endingThat controversial ending  What it reveals:What it reveals:  TThose who do not share,hose who do not share, who continue to be selfishwho continue to be selfish and distrustful, “worked atand distrustful, “worked at their own doom and didtheir own doom and did not know it.”not know it.”  That’s what makes Rose ofThat’s what makes Rose of Sharon’s feeding of the oldSharon’s feeding of the old man with her own breastman with her own breast milk that much moremilk that much more powerful: Saving a life ispowerful: Saving a life is the most intimatethe most intimate expression of humanexpression of human kinship.kinship.
  18. 18. That controversial endingThat controversial ending  The religious overtones areThe religious overtones are apparent: the still, mysterious,apparent: the still, mysterious, and lingering quality of the finaland lingering quality of the final scene, as “her lips came togetherscene, as “her lips came together and smiled mysteriously” (the lastand smiled mysteriously” (the last words of the novel), mightwords of the novel), might suggest the subject of numeroussuggest the subject of numerous religious paintings: the Madonnareligious paintings: the Madonna nursing her child, whom shenursing her child, whom she knows to be the Son of God.knows to be the Son of God.  It could be interpreted that RoseIt could be interpreted that Rose of Sharon’s child was sacrificed toof Sharon’s child was sacrificed to send a larger message to thesend a larger message to the world.world.  This is supported by Uncle JohnThis is supported by Uncle John sending the dead baby down thesending the dead baby down the river: “Go down an’ tell ‘em.”river: “Go down an’ tell ‘em.”
  19. 19. That controversial endingThat controversial ending  What’s more, the name RoseWhat’s more, the name Rose of Sharon comes from theof Sharon comes from the Song of Solomon: “I am theSong of Solomon: “I am the Rose of Sharon, and the lily ofRose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” This name isthe valleys.” This name is often frequently interpretedoften frequently interpreted as referring to Jesus Christ.as referring to Jesus Christ.  Thus, this final scene could beThus, this final scene could be seen as symbolic of theseen as symbolic of the Eucharist: “Take, eat, this isEucharist: “Take, eat, this is my body…”my body…”  Rose of Sharon gains theRose of Sharon gains the wisdom that she is doing anwisdom that she is doing an ultimate act for humanity:ultimate act for humanity: She is sustaining life.She is sustaining life.
  20. 20. That controversial endingThat controversial ending  The bigger picture isThe bigger picture is this: The ultimatethis: The ultimate nourishment is thenourishment is the sharing of oneself andsharing of oneself and whatever one has towhatever one has to help others: Rose ofhelp others: Rose of Sharon symbolizesSharon symbolizes this by giving the onlythis by giving the only thing she has to give:thing she has to give: literally, her physicalliterally, her physical self.self.
  21. 21. Test #3: PreviewTest #3: Preview  30 multiple choice questions that cover chapters 19-30 multiple choice questions that cover chapters 19- 30; several short-answer questions totaling; one30; several short-answer questions totaling; one essay (10 points). Possibly some regarding youressay (10 points). Possibly some regarding your supplementary readings (including comparisonssupplementary readings (including comparisons between economic conditions now and those duringbetween economic conditions now and those during the Depression).the Depression).  Closely review chapters 23 and 25Closely review chapters 23 and 25  Essay:Essay: – Be prepared to thoroughly discuss yourBe prepared to thoroughly discuss your interpretation of the over-arching message of theinterpretation of the over-arching message of the book, especially the ending : How should we viewbook, especially the ending : How should we view the Joads’ situation and transformation at the endthe Joads’ situation and transformation at the end of the book? There is no right or wrong, but thereof the book? There is no right or wrong, but there is “better-informed” vs. “scratched-the-surface.”is “better-informed” vs. “scratched-the-surface.”

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