Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Discussion Questions Grapes of Wrath Period 5 Post Here


  1. I enjoyed this short article on the Grapes of Wrath, for one major reason. The article helped illustrate the novels relevance in today’s society, which may not always be clear to people. The article brings up banks, and how they still abuse and exploit migrant workers, evict families with debt, and disband unions. Also, they talk about the mega farms which control the market in a very aggressive manner, by eliminating other farms through debt. The following is a quote from the article. “The Grapes of Wrath, published 75 years ago today, means just as much to the US now as it did in 1939, when the Dust Bowl destroyed the American west, the economy lay in tatters, a minority held the keys to the bank, and a vast migrant population wandered without homes or rights.” For me, this helped me see the value in the book, and why it has remained relevant in society for so long, which shows me the true value in The Grapes of Wrath.

    -Rome McColl

  2. If you had been in the Joads' shoes, would you have left your home and gone to California?

    Are we meant to conclude that Tom's killing of the deputy is justified?
    -Lexie E

  3. In chapter 3, a turtle is first avoided by an oncoming car, then targeting. However it survives and continues to walk after struggling to set itself right side up. What does this turtle represent?

    Who's reaction is more justified, the cruel landowners who resent the circumstances which force them to evict their tenants, or the kind landowners who show sympathy for the evicted tenants?

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  5. If you were in the position of being an "evil" bank owner, would you follow the same actions of those mentioned in the book?

    In the book, it was mentioned that a family friend was assigned to plow the Joad's land, and he justified his action because the money he was getting payed was enough to buy his youngest child a pair of shoes. If you were this tractor driver, and you were given this chance to have this job, knowing you were taking jobs away from ~ 20 hard working individuals, would you still take the job?

  6. The book began with Tom having just been released from prison. What is the significance of this?

    What would have happened to Tom if he hadn't run into Casy on his way?

    Katey Y.

  7. Do you think there is a deeper meaning behind the "No Riders" sign on the truck?

    Do you view Casey as an ex-preacher, or an enlightened person?

    Erika M.

  8. Why do you think that the truck driver gave Tom a ride even though his truck specifically said "no riders?"

    In chapter four, Tom talks about a man who broke his parole so that he could live with the conveniences that prison had to offer. What does this say about the society?

    Ellie B.

  9. In the first chapter of The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck describes the earth as "scarred', the corn as "green bayonets", and that the weeds were trying to "protect themselves". What do you think he is trying to say about what was happening to the land?

    Paige M.

  10. What is a traditional family in this time period? To what degree does Steinbeck agree with this image? How does he perpetuate this typical image and how does he subvert it?

    Is mechanization always bad? Which does Steinbeck think is a better system, human labor and machination, and why? Is he right? How can we relate the mechanization of the 30s to today?

  11. Did Jim Casy make the right decision in taking the blame of tripping the sheriff from Tom, therefore going to jail?

    Was Connie motivated to leave the Joads because he saw the awful conditions in California, or for a different reason?

  12. In chapter 1, why is it that the men never "break" when they realize the dust has destroyed their crops?

    Why were some farmers like Muley not willing to leave their land and move west to California like most others? Why was he willing to stay behind and watch his family go?

    Carolyn C.

  13. Why do you think that the author included the turtle crossing the street and getting hit by the car ?

    What characteristics make Tom Joad seem very responsible?

    Jessie O.

  14. How would Tom Joad's journey be different if he never ran into Mully, who eventually brought Tom to his family? If Tom never found his family, what do you think that he might do with himself? Would he still go to California?

    Has Casy impacted Tom's character? If so, how significantly? How would Tom's search for work be different if he never found Casy in chapter four?
    Remi S.

  15. In chapter 2 what is the meaning of Tom Joad's ride with the trucker?

    In chapter 5 why do the owners speak as if the bank and company were a monster?
    Abby A.

  16. How can we connect mechanization to present day? Where and how is it a problem? And for whom is it a problem?

    The connection between the farmers and their land is clearly very strong, and it isn't easy for them to leave it. Do we have this connection with our land? How difficult would it be for us to be forced into migrating far away?

  17. Why would you speculate that Tom Joad felt very uncomfortable with Muley speaking about his inferences? Tom seemed to be fine with the preacher ramble on about what makes people people, so why was he blatantly ignoring Muley?

    Why do you think Steinbeck's descriptions were based almost completely off of appearances? Why did he never delve into the characters themselves, and to answer this you would have to agree that the most information we picked up about the characters was from their own dialogue. Did Steinbeck do this on purpose, or is that just how he wrote as his own style of writing, do you think?

    --Cleo K P5

  18. In what ways were the Joad's prepared for their journey? In what ways were they completely unprepared?

    How do the major themes of family, land, etc. play an important role in influencing the Joad's decision to head to California?

  19. When does the greater good become more important than the benefit of the suffering?
    How does not being able to control their destiny change a person?

  20. Do you believe that the bank was in the wrong for taking away the land from farmers? Or was it justified by the circumstances at the time?

    We know Muley abandoned his family, to live in the area where he grew up and where is farm use to be. Would you, in this exact situation, be able to make the same decision that Muley did?

    -Owen B P5

  21. Why do you think Reverend Casy so urgently wants to stop being seen as a preacher? Does he think he will mislead the people?

    When he says "A man can't when he's told to" on page 46, do you think this stubbornness is a quality that has helped or hurt Tom Joad so far? Will it help or hurt him in the future?