The grapes of wrath essay outline

John Steinbeck recognized that one of the most criticized elements of The Grapes of Wrath was his alternating use of inner also known as intercalary chapters that interrupt the narrative of the Joads. You are the first critical person who seems to have suspected that they had a purpose. The inner chapters were designed by the author. Why did he include them? The Grapes of Wrath opens with a brief ecological look at the Plains drought in the first inner chapter. Why does Steinbeck employ inner chapters and place them intermittently between the Joad chapters in The Grapes of Wrath?

John Steinbeck was not the first writer to use a series of inner chapters, also known as intercalary or interchapters. Mary Ellen Caldwell sees a conscious pattern operating in the intermittent arrangement of the chapters. John J. Conder discusses his view that these chapters form a network of interlocking determinisms through their emphasis on the effects of abstract, impersonal forces in the lives of the Oklahomans.

Include Shakespeare as well as other authors. B Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic. All day the dust sifted down from the sky, and the next day it sifted down.

The Grapes of Wrath Study Guide

An even blanket covered the earth. Reflect on any changes the students may have experienced in learning more about the actual conditions in the Dust Bowl. How does this new understanding affect their views of Chapter 1 or of the novel as a whole? Have students skim Chapter 2 and instruct them point to words, phrases, or ideas that relate to Chapter 1. As a warm-up for Activity 2, ask students to describe the relationship between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 in one sentence.

After the whole class reading and discussion activities for Chapter 1, show the film, The Plow that Broke the Plains. Rexford Guy Tugwell, then Director of the Resettlement Administration later the Farm Security Administration , agreed that it was a good idea to use film to educate the public. Together they decided that the first subject would be the Dust Bowl. A further article about the film from the EDSITEment-reviewed American Studies at the University of Virginia explains that although critics loved the film, Hollywood branded it as government propaganda and refused to distribute it commercially.

Click here to view the entire documentary. The American public saw a steady stream of images related to the Dust Bowl and its aftermath.

Since the publication of The Grapes of Wrath , the inner chapters have been the topic of much discussion and disagreement among critics. Explain to students that in this activity they will embark on their own search for the purpose of these chapters and their connection to the Joad narrative chapters that immediately precede them. Assign one or more of the Joad chapters 4—28 to each pair or small groups of students.

Have each group also review the information in the preceding inner chapter and take notes on the content of that chapter.

Mla Format Essay Outline

Tell students to keep in mind the content of the preceding inner chapter s as they discuss the relationship between the two chapters. Hold a brief discussion on what the students have noticed and then have the groups each develop a paragraph stating the relationship they see between their two chapters.


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Skip to main content. Lesson Plan. Photo caption. At the side of the road, a turtle crawls, dragging its shell over the grass.

The Grapes of Wrath Review/Analysis!!!

This animal comes to the road embankment and, with great effort, climbs onto the road. As the turtle attempts to cross the road, it is nearly hit by a sedan. A truck swerves to hit the turtle, but its wheel only strikes the edge of the turtle's shell and spins the turtle back off the highway. The turtle finds itself on its back, but finally sets itself right. The turtle is a symbol of the working class farmers whose stories and struggles are recounted in The Grapes of Wrath. The turtle plods along dutifully, but is consistently confronted with danger and setbacks.

The Grapes of Wrath Essay

Significantly, the dangers posed to the turtle are those of modernity and business: the intrusion of cars and the building of highways both endanger the turtle. The truck that strikes this creature is a symbol of big business and commerce. The Joad family -- which will soon be introduced in its entirety -- will experience travails analogous to those of the turtle as the family members plod along, wishing only to survive yet brutally pushed aside by corporate interests. Chapter Four: After getting out of the truck, Tom Joad begins walking home.

He sees the turtle that appeared in the previous chapter and picks it up.


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He stops in the shade of a tree to rest and finds a man sitting there and singing "Jesus Is My Savior. A former minister, Casy recognizes Tom immediately. Casy was a "Burning Busher" who used to "howl out the name of Jesus to glory," but he abandoned his calling because he found that too many sinful ideas seemed sensible. Tom tells Casy that he took the turtle for his little brother, and Casy replies that nobody can keep a turtle, for eventually the turtle will wander off on its own. Casy claims that he doesn't know where he's going now; Tom tells him to lead people, even if he doesn't know where to lead them.

Finally, he realized that perhaps what he was doing wasn't a sin; perhaps, according to Casy, there isn't really sin or virtue, simply things that people do. Tom tells Casy why he was in jail: he was at a dance, got drunk, and got into a fight with another man. The man cut Tom with a knife, so Tom hit the man over the head with a shovel. Tom then informs Casy that he was treated relatively well in McAlester. He ate regularly, got clean clothes, and was able to bathe. He even states that another prisoner broke his parole in order to go back.

The former residents of the house had moved away, so Tom's father, uncle, and grandfather cut the house in two and dragged half of it away, although a man named Wink Manley took the other half. Soon enough, Tom and Casy arrive at the boundary fence of the Joads' property; the Joads didn't need a fence, but having one gave Pa a feeling that the family's forty acres was forty acres.

The Grapes of Wrath Summary

Nobody is there. Jim Casy is the moral voice of the novel and its religious center. He is a religious icon, a philosopher and a prophet. His initials J. Casy eschews dogma and scripture, even any semblance of a strict moral code. Instead, Casy finds the rules and regulations of Christian teachings severely confining and clearly inapplicable to actual situations. The most striking case of this is his history of sexual activity with the women he converts.

Casy originally felt tremendously guilty over his actions and worried about his responsibilities toward the women he was trying to direct to Jesus, yet finally came to the conclusion that "maybe it's just the way folks is. He denies the existence of virtue or vice, finding that "there's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. Steinbeck thus focuses on the common people not only politically for instance, by playing up the theme of poverty during the Great Depression but also religiously. Casy rejects the idea of Jesus as intangible: he does not and cannot know Jesus, but he does know common people and believes them to be the representation of God.

Even Tom's stories demonstrate a dislike of concrete religious structure. He mocks the pious religious Christmas card that his grandmother sent him while he was in prison. Tom's description of the prison demonstrates the poverty under which he and his family struggle. For Tom, living in prison ensured that he would be fed and cared for. Now that he has re-entered society, he has no such guarantees. Yet Tom tells Casy all this in the form of a humorous anecdote. Poverty has become so ingrained that all that Tom can do is accept it. Chapter Five: This chapter describes the coming of the bank representatives to evict the farmers.

Some of the representatives are kind because they knew how cruel their job is, yet some are angry because they hate to be cruel, while yet others are merely cold and hardened by their job.

Activity 1. Chapter 1: Inner Chapter

These men are mostly pawns of a larger system and have no choice but to obey.