It is the 1930s. Many farmers are beginning to lose their crops. They worry about how they are going to feed their families. The farmers go out and work all day just to watch their crops die. Many are starting to lose their farmers and livelihood from this drought that is beginning to plague Oklahoma.
Tom Joad was just released out of prison and catches a ride with a man to head back to his family’s farm. The driver informs Tom that things are very different compared to when he first went to prison. The driver drops Tom off and Tom starts walking towards his familys farm. He crosses paths with his old preacher and they being to share stories of Toms childhood, when Tom was in prison, and the conditions that farmers are in. They eventually make their way to the families farm and see that it is completely untouched. Tom and the preacher hear that the Joad family is working next door, picking cotton to earn enough money to make it to California.
Once the family has enough money to California, they start their journey. Their journey is filled with many hardships and they meet many people who are struggling in this drought. On their journey, Granpa and Granma pass away. Once they arrive in California, there is a surplus of farmers and their families. Many families have set up camps in the ditches. There is an increase in violent behavior that leads the preacher to being arrested and taken away from the Joad family. The family finds jobs and begins working but soon are run out by larger farming industry. They are out of world again until they find work at a cotton field. A major flood comes and eventually ruins everything. It forces the family to leave the boxcar they were living in and seek dry ground.
The Grapes of Wrath happened right after The Great Depression. Many farmers were already struggling to make a livelihood and this made it worse. It forced so many farmers to evacuate their land and head to California. This book really dived in and discussed how power can be abused. The Joad family had many encounters with the police who thought they were higher than them and could get away with the abuse. This is very similar to what we studies in class about Anarchy. When things begin to go south, people begin to act crazy. We see that once the drought began, all the farmers in Oklahoma moved to California. When everyone started to show up in California, there was not enough room for all the families, which made many of them set up camps in ditches and along the roads. The police become upset and start to use their power and abuse these families.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was very interesting. It really taught me how anarchy and tyranny play out. I thought it was neat to see how evil people can get when things go sour. It also showed what a rut the poorest of the poor were in after The Great Depression. Many of them had to leave their home and everything they knew because they could no longer make money to support their families. So many people had to starve to death because they didnt even have enough money to feed themselves and their families. I read all of the book and found it very entertaining.
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