BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Insightful,
Brilliant,
Epic

12 reviews

The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck

Published: 2002
Paperback : 455 pages
51 members reading this now
51 clubs reading this now
46 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 11 of 12 members
Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, "The Grapes of Wrath" is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, "The Grapes of Wrath" is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

From the Publisher:

1. Are we meant to conclude that Tom's killing of the deputy is justified?

2. What makes Casy believe that "maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of" (p. 24)?

3. Why does Steinbeck devote a chapter to the land turtle's progress on the highway?

4. Why does Pa yield his traditional position in the family to Ma?

5. What does Ma mean when she says, "Bearin' an' dyin' is two pieces of the same thing" (p. 210)?

6. As Tom leaves the family, he says, "I'll be ever'where—wherever you look" (p. 419). In what sense does he mean "everywhere"?

7. Why does Steinbeck interrupt the Joads' narrative with short chapters of commentary and description?

8. Why does Rose of Sharon smile as she feeds the starving man with milk intended for her baby?

9. What does Steinbeck mean when he writes, "In the souls of the people The Grapes of Wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage" (p. 349)?

10. Why do different characters insist at different points in the book, "A fella got to eat" (p. 344, for example)?

11. Why does the book start with drought and end with floods?

12. Is the family intact at the end of the novel?

13. Why does Uncle John set the dead baby adrift rather than bury it?

14. What is the source of Ma's conviction that "we're the people—we go on" (p. 280)?

15. Does nature function as a force for either good or evil in this book?

For Further Reflection

1. As his land is destroyed, an anonymous tenant says, "We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change" (p. 38). Is Steinbeck suggesting that a just social order is possible?

2. When the narrator says "men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread" (p. 36), the implication is that this break diminishes humanity. Can spirituality be maintained with increasing automation?

3. Casy tells Tom about a prisoner whose view of history is that "ever' time they's a little step fo'ward, she may slip back a little, but she never slips clear back... they wasn't no waste" (p. 384). Do you agree with this view?

Suggested by Members

How does this epic tale relate to the condition of the world today?
Do you notice any parallelism to the Bible stories?
by bwedow (see profile) 06/29/12

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Participate in Big Read activities
by Susanmoore (see profile) 10/29/15
This book was this year's Big Read selection. Our community sponsored many events related to "The Grapes of Wrath" such as lectures and films. The Big Read selection for next year will be announced soon, so consider choosing that book as your book club selection.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Leonor (see profile) 12/31/17

 
by robandjenbailey (see profile) 10/07/17

 
  "The Grapes of Wrath"by Susanmoore (see profile) 10/29/15

A true classic. This beautifully written book transports you to another time and place. The power of the language makes much contemporary fiction pale in comparison.

 
by eharta11 (see profile) 06/18/14

 
  "The Grapes of Wrath"by Bristolbookclub (see profile) 10/16/13

 
  "Great American Novel"by FTessa (see profile) 06/04/13

When we first meet Tom Joad he has been walking for miles in his new shoes and clothes that don’t quite fit. Tom has been released on parole and is headed to his family’s home – they s... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...