The Grapes of Wrath Review

Tom Joad The novel’s main character and second Joad son. As the novel opens, he is returning to his family after his parole from the McAlester State Penitentiary. Among the novel’s characters, Tom shows the most growth in his realization of the concept of human unity and love.
Jim Casy A former preacher. Concerned with his controversial beliefs about what is sinful and what is holy, he has renounced his calling. Traveling to California with the Joads, he plans to listen to the people and help them. Casy is the spokesman for the author’s main theories, including the multi-faceted themes of love and strength in unity.
Ma Joad Wife and mother. Ma is the backbone of the Joad family: strong-minded and resolute. Her main concern is that the family unit not be broken. She is the physical embodiment of Steinbeck’s theory of love.
Pa Joad Patriarch of the Joad clan. Pa is a sharecropper whose land has just been foreclosed on by the bank. Somewhat lost and weakened, he leads his family to California in search of work.
Rose of Sharon Eldest Joad daughter. Rose of Sharon is pregnant and married to 19-year-old Connie Rivers. Self-absorbed by her pregnancy, she has many plans and dreams for their life in California. At the novel’s close, she represents life-giving force.
Granma and Granpa The couple who first began farming on the land that Pa has lost.
Noah Joad The oldest Joad son. Noah is slow-moving and emotionally distant, perhaps the result of an unintentional injury caused by Pa during Noah’s birth.
Al Joad Sixteen-year-old Joad son. Al willingly admits that only cars and girls interest him. He is responsible for the maintenance of the family’s truck during the journey to California.
Ruthie Joad The youngest Joad daughter. Ruthie is 12 years old and caught between childishness and adolescence.
Winfield Joad The youngest Joad family member. Winfield is 10 years old.
Muley Graves A Joad neighbor in Oklahoma. Muley has also been tractored off his land. He chooses to stay behind when his family leaves for California, an illustration of the effect of loss on those who have been driven from their land.
Ivy and Sarah (Sairy) Wilson Traveling companions of the Joads. A couple from Kansas, the Wilsons meet the Joads when their touring car breaks down. After Al and Tom fix their car, they travel with the family to the California border. The cooperation between the Wilsons and the Joads exemplifies the strength that is found in persons helping others.
Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright The Wainwrights share a boxcar with the Joads at the end of the novel. Like the Wilsons, their union with the Joads underscores the novel’s theme of human unity.
Agnes Wainwright The Wainwright’s 16-year-old daughter. She is engaged to Al Joad at the end of the novel.
Ezra Huston Chairman of the central committee in the government camp at Weedpatch.
Willie Eaton Texan in charge of the entertainment committee at the government camp. He and his committee members thwart a staged riot attempt by the Farmers Association.
How does Granpa Joad die? He has a stroke
Siary Wilson’s offering of shelter to the Joads and Ma’s feeding of the hungry children in the Hooverville reflect a strand of philosophy that is closely tied to Walt Whitman’s concept of love for all individuals. Which of the following is the name of that philosophy? Humanism
The structure and prose style used by Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath was most profoundly influenced by what work? King James Bible
The theory that human identity and self-esteem is determined by a connection to land and its cycle of growth is known as Jeffersonian Agrarianism
What derogatory term do the citizens of California use to label the migrants? Okies
What does the description of the land turtle’s crossing the highway in Chapter Three symbolize? Survival and the indestructibility of life force
What social concept is best typified by Tom’s statement, “I climb fences when I got fences to climb”? Pragmatism
Which character is often considered to be symbolic of Christ? Jim Casy
Which Joad child makes the deliberate choice to part ways from the rest of the family? Noah
Who said the following: “I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there.” Tom Joad
Who said the following: “There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do. It’s all part of the same thing.” Jim Casy
Who said the following: “If you’re in trouble or hurt or need — go to poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help — the only ones.” Ma Joad
Who said the following: “. . . if a fella’s got somepin to eat an’ another fella’s hungry — why, the first fella ain’t got no choice.” Muley Graves
Why is Noah slightly deformed? Pa tried to deliver Noah by pulling him out with his hands
What is a “big cat”? A machine used by the banks to evict farmers
During what decade did the Dust Bowl tragedy take place? The 1930s
How many years was Tom in prison? 4
What does Uncle John give to children? Gum
According to Chapter 19, who were the first Americans to settle in California? Squatters
Who is given the task of burying Rose of Sharon’s stillborn child? Uncle John
What are Al’s main interests? Girls and cars
Where do the Joads leave Granma’s corpse? A coroner’s office
Which Joad child believes him- or herself to be the least loved by Ma and Pa? Noah
What was Jim Casy’s former occupation? Preacher
How does Jim Casy die? in a fight during a workers’ strike
At the end of the novel, who is the leader of the Joad family? Ma Joad
Whom does Agnes Wainwright decide to marry? Al
Who in the novel first proposes the idea of organizing the workers? Floyd Knowles
Why does Pa’s dam fail? A tree falls into it
Why does Ruthie reveal Tom’s secret? she wants to impress a girl who is picking on her
Who tells Tom his parents’ whereabouts when he arrives at their deserted farm? Muley Graves
In what year did The Grapes of Wrath win a Pulitzer Prize? 1940
Why does Ma fear that Winfield will grow up to be wild and uncontrollable? Without a proper home, he will become rootless and lose a sense of family
Why do the other children ostracize Ruthie when she first arrives at the government camp? She bullies a girl on the croquet court.
At the cotton farm, where do the Joads live? A boxcar
At the end of the novel, Ma explains to Pa that some people live “in jerks,” while others live in “all one flow.” This is her way of describing an essential difference between which two groups? Men and women

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