Monday, October 6, 2014

The Grapes of Wrath Part Deux

Still reading the grapes of wrath. There still haven't been many grapes, or a whole lot of wrath in the book.

I'll pick up right where I left off in my previous post about this book. Tom Joad and Rev. Casy arrived at the Joad family's current residence, the house of their Uncle John. When they arrive, Tom Joad the first is working out in his truck, and he does't recognize his son at first, but when he does he gets very excited. They surprise the rest of the family with Tom's return, and everyone seems relieved to know that Tom got parole and didn't bust out. It is at this point that the Joad family is introduced. It consists of Tom Joad(The father), Tommy Joad(The main character of the book), Ma Joad(Tom's wife), Grandpa(He's mean and senile), Granma(She's super religious and senile), Al Joad(He's a smart-aleck who's good with cars), Noah Joad(He's quiet and kind of weird), ROSE OF SHARON(Is pregnant, talked about in a creepy amount of detail by the author, oldest daughter of Tom and Ma Joad), Winfield Joad(Youngest Joad child), Ruthie Joad(Second youngest Joad child).

The Joads are preparing to leave for California when Tom and Casy arrive. It is interesting to see the structure of the family as they discuss their plans. The men make most of the decisions, and everyone in the family has some role to play. The entire process of how the Joads prepare is laid out in a few chapters. 

My new favorite character from the book is Al Joad. He is sixteen years old at the time the book takes place, and he's described as being a smart ass of the highest degree. While he may be sarcastic, Al still has a position is the family, and plays a role is their journey to California. Al is put in charge of acquiring a vehicle for the family to ride in, and it is then that the earlier chapter where we hear about used car sales methods connects to the Joad story. Al checks out the car for all the things listed in the chapter, such as cracked batteries and sawdust in the transmission. I've noticed that the author has done this a few times. He moves away from the Joad family for a chapter or two, but then connects what he talks about in this chapters to the Joads' story. Personally, I like this type of story telling. It's unique.

The author uses the thing I just talked about and describes the concerns of other families moving towards California, and tells about the problems they face. People usually aren't too happy to see people moving that direction, specifically when they're country bumpkins, which is usually what they are. It talks in detail about a family with just a trailer who get rides from other people, which I found very interesting. In the next chapter, the Joad family's experience moving towards California is talked about. The thing where people don't welcome those moving in that direction is used, and whilst at a rest stop, one of the family's dogs is hit by a car.

 I really want to place emphasis on how dumb I think the next part is. Rose of Sharon thinks that witnessing the death of the dog will harm her unborn baby. UNBORN BABY. UNBORN. Unborn babies can't see, Rose of Sharon. That's not how unborn babies work. Jeez.

Anyway, that's as far as I am in the book. At this point, I'm really loving it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it.

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