Summary Of The Grapes Of Wrath

Summary Of The Grapes Of Wrath

This is a classic novel from American literature, written by the Nobel prize prize-winner John Steinbeck in 1939 and published in the same year. 

The specialty of this novel is that it is a story of the Americal great depression. There was a poor farmer family of that time whose sufferings have been described in this story along with many other farmer families. 

Though all the characters of this novel are fictional, it shows how poor people have to suffer when some drastic things happen in this world in real life. 

This is quite an interesting story and is a part of American realism, which means that it is a realist novel and is even taught in the high schools and colleges of America. 

Let us now get through the short summary of The Grapes Of Wrath.

Summary Of The Grapes Of Wrath 

There is a state named Oklahoma city southwest-west central U.S. The story of the novel began at the time of the great depression. 

The crops of the farmers were destroyed, and the economy failed. 

A boy named Tom Joad has just come out of prison after spending 4 years in jail for doing a murder. When he returns home, he meets Jim Casy, a preacher, whom Tom knew since childhood. Jim has left his job as a preacher now and he is following the ideology of the human spirit and equality. 

The two meet and together go to Tom’s house and see that the Joad family had already left this house for a long time. 

A man named Muley Graves is their neighbor and says that all the lands of the farmers’ families were on the mortgage to either landowners or banks. Then, the land owners and the banks threw the farmer families out of these houses including the Joad family, they occupied the lands and got to know about a thing named tractors which can do the work of ten humans alone in the field. To again cultivate the fields, tractors are being used here. 

Muley Graves tells Tom that his family is now at the home of his father’s brother, Uncle John. 

The twoUncleo uncle John’s house and Tom find out that his family is moving to California (grandma, grandpa, ma Connie, Tom’s sister Noah Joad).

This is because Tom’s father Pa Joad has heard about a job in California, so they are going to the west to take advantage of this opportunity as they do not want to miss it. 

They have also arranged a car to go there. Tom and Casy also join them. The Joads family meets a couple Ivy and Sairy Wilson on the way. 

And then, the Granpa of Joads family dies. The Wilson couple was with Joads until they reached the border of California. On reaching there, Sairy got ill the and Wilson couple parted from the Joads.  

On the other side, tom’s elder brother Noah Joad also left the family on reaching the border and decided that he will live on his own. 

On the way to California, the Joads family had heard of a lot of rumors. A lot of people said things that would break their hope, like, many people telling them that they will not find jobs in California. 

And when they reach California, all their rumors happened to be true and their worst time had started. 

At that time, the family was crossing a desert. Granma Joad also died. As they didn’t have any jobs, they had to live in Tent Hoverville, whose name was given on the name of president Herbert Hoover. 

This was the place, where the migrants had to deal with the cruelty and corruption of the contractors and deputies.  They had to work there for less salary. 

While living in the tents, Tom’s pregnant sister’s husband Connie also left the Joad family as Connie was quite frustrated with this journey of the Joads and couldn’t stay longer with them. He also leaves his wife. 

In the camp, Tom made a friend, and the two went to the contractor and told him that they are not getting enough wages for the work they are doing. This starts an argument with the deputy. Tom leaves after having the argument and Casy arrives there and takes the blame for the fight that Tom made. 

As a result, Casy is arrested and kept in custody. At that time, the Joad family decides to leave this camp and live in a better place like the government camps. Because the good thing about those camps is that the migrants themselves run the camps and not the police. 

After going to these camps, the Joad family finds comfort and friends. Tom also got work there. While doing work in these camps, one day Tom saw an association of some greedy farmers along with some corrupt deputies who were planning to rise some riots so that the deputies get a chance to destroy the camp. 

And after destroying the camp, they will weaken the bargaining power of the laborers. Tom heard this plan and with his other friends, he cleverly saved the camp. 

But, Tom’s family is in trouble right now so he should think of them. The family was not getting enough income to survive. So they started looking for work somewhere else. They went to a peach-picking compound where they got work. But, at the gates were some other migrants having a strike. 

Tom found out that his friend Casy has a great role in this strike, as he also supported organizing that strike. 

Tom meets Casy, they also find policemen there. A policeman kills Casy with a plowing tool and Tom also kills that officer and runs away and hides. 

This increased the problems for his family. His family started the work of picking cotton. Tom has also hidden somewhere around in the jungle. The family could now earn enough money to at least eat well. 

Tom’s sister was also about to give birth to her child, she gives birth in the box car where they live but the child is born still/dead. When this happened, it had been raining heavily for the past few days. All the others had left the area but the Joads were staying there because of the baby’s birth. 

It kept raining for days, and the family had to save themselves from the floods so they kept the baby’s body in an apple box and left. With all the money they had at the time, they bring things for dinner like potatoes, and arrange a safe place to go. 

They reach a highway and then a hill. They go inside a barn and see an old man and his son there. The old man had not eaten in days. His son requested them to give him something to eat as his father is dying. Tom’s sister, on her mother’s persuasion, fed her breastmilk to that old man. 

Important Theme Of The Grapes Of Wrath Novel

Dehumanizing nature of capitalism

Significance Of The Title Of The Grapes Of Wrath Novel

The grapes of wrath refer to an unjust or oppressive situation, action, or policy, that may inflame the desire for vengeance, An explosive condition. 

Final Words

I hope that you are satisfied with my version of The Grapes Of Wrath Summary And Analysis by John Steinbeck. Let me know if you also want The Grapes Of Wrath summary pdf. If you liked my content, then you can also check out more of my content including The Invisible Man Summary Ralph Ellison, Summary Of The Death Of A Salesman, and Summary Of The Hairy Ape

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