Thursday, July 27, 2006

Grapes of wrath post IV

Normal spoiler alert here: if you haven'’t read as far then please do not read on it will take away the enjoyment of the book.

We left things with the family in a Hooverville camp full of migrants struggling to understand who to believe -– those who are moving North because there is no work and those looking for something in the local area. The sense of bewilderment is made worse by the collective exhaustion the family feels.

Bullet points from pages 240 -– 340

* Dropping like flies Connie decides to abandon the family and his pregnant wife Rose of Sharon

* Tom ends up in an encounter with a Policeman and Casy takes the blame and is driven away

* That night the family heads off just before the local farmers come in and burn the Hooverville camp claiming it is full of "“reds"”

* They drive South to the government camp and find a space and friendliness

* Tom discovers that the local farmers are hoping to disrupt the camp because people are "starting to feel human"” and might get organised against the inequality

* After failing to find work they head North and end up in a farm where there are strikers picketing outside

* Tom goes out to see the strikers, and discovers they are being led by Casy, they are then attacked by men who kill Casy and break Tom's nose. In the struggle Tom hits a man and believes he might have killed him.

Even at this stage what amazes you is the optimism that Ma in particular still carries around hoping that they will get a house and steady work. Leaving the camp looks like a backward step and now Tom is in trouble you start to feel the worst. Can the family survive? Tomorrow and the last 60 pages will tell...


Anonymous said...


I found your website when searching about the Inside Books Project in Austin, TX. Are you connected in anyway?

simon quicke said...

I am not connected with the Inside Books project - just found the details on the web - but it would be great if we could get an interactive reading group going with some of those involved with the project. If you are involved and could make that possible let me know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon,

Actually I am not involved - I was just researching the project in Austin and wondered if you were related. But it sounds like a great idea if you were to team up.

Anonymous said...

I like it! Good job. Go on.

simon quicke said...

Thanks for the feedback it's great to get a positive response