Рефераты. American Literature books summary

to leave everyone, for they don't care about him. Although Tom protests,

Noah leaves them. Granma remains ill, suffering from delusions. She

believes that she sees Grampa. A Jehovite woman visits their tent to help

Granma, and tells Ma that she will die soon. The woman wants to organize a

prayer meeting, but Ma orders them not to do so. Nevertheless, soon she can

hear from a distance chanting and singing that eventually descends into

crying. Granma whines with the whining, then eventually falls asleep. Rose

of Sharon wonders where Connie is. Deputies come to the tent and tell Ma

that they cannot stay there and that they don't want any Okies around. Tom

returns to the tent after the policeman leaves, and is glad that he wasn't

there; he admits that he would have hit the cop. He tells Ma about Noah.

The Wilsons decide to remain even if they face arrest, since Sairy is too

sick to leave without any rest. Sairy asks Casy to say a prayer for her.

The Joads move on, and at a stop a boy remarks how hard-looking Okies are

and how they are less than human. Uncle John speaks with Casy, worried that

he brings bad luck to people. Connie and Rose of Sharon need privacy. Yet

again the Joads are pulled over for inspection, but Ma Joad insists that

they must continue because Granma needs medical attention. The next morning

when they reach the orange groves, Ma tells them that Granma is dead. She

died before they were pulled over for inspection.

Chapter Nineteen: California once belonged to Mexico and its land to the

Mexicans. But a horde of tattered feverish American poured in, with such

great hunger for the land that they took it. Farming became an industry as

the Americans took over. They imported Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and

Filipino workers who became essentially slaves. The owners of the farms

ceased to be farmers and became businessmen. They hated the Okies who came

because they could not profft from them. Other laborers hated the Okies

because they pushed down wages. While the Californians had aspirations of

social success and luxury, the barbarous Okies only wanted land and food.

Hoovervilles arose at the edge of every town. The Okies were forced to

secretly plant gardens in the evenings. The deputies overreacted to the

Okies, spurred by stories that an eleven year old Okie shot a deputy. The

great owners realized that when property accumulates in too few hands it is

taken away and that when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they

will take by force what they need.

Chapter Twenty: The Joads take Granma to the Bakersfield coroner's office.

They can't afford a funeral for her. They go to a camp to stay and ask

about work. They ask a bearded man if he owns the camp and whether they can

stay, and he replies with the same question to them. A younger man tells

them that the crazy old man is called the Mayor. According to the man, the

Mayor has likely been pushed by the police around so much that he's been

made bull-simple (crazy). The police don't want them to settle down, for

then they could draw relief, organize and vote. The younger man tells them

about the handbill fraud, and Tom suggests that everybody organize so that

they could guarantee higher wages. The man warns Tom about the blacklist.

If he is labeled an agitator he will be prevented from getting from

anybody. Tom talks to Casy, who has recently been relatively quiet. Casy

says that the people unorganized are like an army without a harness. Casy

says that he isn't helping out the family and should go off by himself. Tom

tries to convince him to stay at least until the next day, and he relents.

Connie regrets his decision to come with the Joads. He says that if he had

stayed in Oklahoma he could have worked as a tractor driver. When Ma is

fixing dinner, groups of small children approach, asking for food. The

children tell the Joads about Weedpatch, a government camp that is nearby

where no cops can push people around and there is good drinking water. Al

goes around looking for girls, and brags about how Tom killed a man. Al

meets a man named Floyd Knowles, who tells them that there was no steady

work. A woman reprimands Ma Joad for giving her children stew. Al brings

Floyd back to the family, where he says that there will be work up north

around Santa Clara Valley. He tells them to leave quietly, because everyone

else will follow after the work. Al wants to go with Floyd no matter what.

A man arrives in a Chevrolet coupe, wearing a business suit. He tells them

about work picking fruit around Tulare County. Floyd tells the man to show

his license -this is one of the tricks that the contractor uses. Floyd

points out some of the dirty tactics that the contractor is using, such as

bringing along a cop. The cop forces Floyd into the car and says that the

Board of Health might want to shut down their camp. Floyd punched the cop

and ran off. As the deputy chased after him, Tom tripped him. The deputy

raised his gun to shoot Floyd and fires indiscriminately, shooting a woman

in the hand. Suddenly Casy kicked the deputy in the back of the neck,

knocking him unconscious. Casy tells Tom to hide, for the contractor saw

him trip the deputy. More officers come to the scene, and they take away

Casy, who has a faint smile and a look of pride. Rose of Sharon wonders

where Connie has gone. She has not seen him recently. Uncle John admits

that he had five dollars. He kept it to get drunk. Uncle John gives them

the five in exchange for two, which is enough for him. Al tells Rose of

Sharon that he saw Connie, who was leaving. Pa claims that Connie was too

big for his overalls, but Ma scolds him, telling him to act respectfully,

as if Connie were dead. Because the cops are going to burn the camp

tonight, they have to leave. Tom goes to find Uncle John, who has gone off

to get drunk. Tom finds him by the river, singing morosely. He claims that

he wants to die. Tom has to hit him to make him come. Rose of Sharon wants

to wait for Connie to return. They leave the camp, heading north toward the

government camp.

Chapter Twenty-One: The hostility that the migrant workers faced changed

them. They were united as targets of hostility, and this unity made the

little towns of Hoovervilles defend themselves. There was panic when the

migrants multiplied on the highways. The California residents feared them,

thinking them dirty, ignorant degenerates and sexual maniacs. The number of

migrant workers caused the wages to go down. The owners invented a new

method: the great owners bought canneries, where they kept the price of

fruit down to force smaller farmers out. The owners did not know that the

line between hunger and anger is a thin one.

Chapter Twenty-Two: The Joads reach the government camp, where they are

surprised to find that there are toilets and showers and running water. The

watchman at the camp explains some of the other features of the camp: there

is a central committee elected by the camp residents that keeps order and

makes rules, and the camp even holds dance nights. The next morning, two

camp residents (Timothy and Wilkie Wallace) give Tom breakfast and tell him

about work. When they reach the fields where they are to work, Mr. Thomas,

the contractor, tells them that he is reducing wages from thirty to twenty-

five cents per hour. It is not his choice, but rather orders from the

Farmers' Association, which is owned by the Bank of the West. Thomas also

shows them a newspaper, which has a story about a band of citizens who burn

a squatters' camp, infuriated by presumed communist agitation, and warns

them about the dance at the government camp on Saturday night. There will

be a fight in the camp so that the deputies can go in. The Farmers'

Association dislikes the government camps because the people in the camps

become used to being treated humanely and are thus harder to handle. Tom

and the Wallaces vow to make sure that there won't be a fight.

While they work, Wilkie tells Tom that the complaints about agitators are

false. According to the rich owners, any person who wants thirty cents an

hour instead of twenty-five is a red. Back at the camp, Ruthie and Winfield

explore the camp, and are fascinated by the toilets they are frightened by

the flushing sound. Ma Joad makes the rest of the family clean themselves

up before the Ladies Committee comes to visit her. Jim Rawley, the camp

manager, introduces himself to the Joads and tells them some of the

features of the camp. Rose of Sharon goes to take a bath, and learns that a

nurse visits the camp every week and can help her deliver the baby when it

is time. Ma remarks that she no longer feels ashamed, as she had when they

were constantly harassed by the police. Lisbeth Sandry, a religious zealot,

speaks with Rose of Sharon about the alleged sin that goes on during the

dances, and complains about people putting on stage plays, which she calls

Њsin and delusion and devil stuff.' The woman even blames playacting for a

mother dropping her child. Rose of Sharon becomes frightened upon hearing

this, fearing that she will drop her child. Jessie Bullitt, the head of the

Ladies Committee, gives Ma Joad a tour of the camp and explains some of the

problems. Jessie bickers with Ella Summers, the previous committee head.

The children play and bicker. Pa comforts Uncle John, who still wants to

leave, thinking that he will bring the family punishment. Ma Joad confronts

Lisbeth Sandry for frightening Rose and for preaching that every action is

sinful. Ma becomes depressed about all of the losses Granma and Grampa,

John and Connie because she now has leisure time to think about such


Chapter Twenty-Three: The migrant workers looked for amusement wherever

they could find it, whether in jokes or stories for amusement. They told

stories of heroism in taming the land against the Indians, or about a rich

man who pretended to be poor and fell in love with a rich woman who was

also pretending to be poor. The workers took small pleasures in playing the

harmonica or a more precious guitar or fiddle, or even in getting drunk.

Chapter Twenty-Four: The rumors that the police were going to break up the

dance reached the camp. According to Ezra Huston, the chairman of the

Central Committee, this is a frequent tactic that the police use. Huston

tells Willie Eaton, the head of the entertainment committee, that if he

must hit a deputy, do so where they won't bleed. The camp members say that

the Californians hate them because the migrants might draw relief without

paying income tax, but they refute this, claiming that they pay sales tax

and tobacco tax. At the dance, Willie Eaton approaches Tom and tells him

where to watch for intruders. Ma comforts Rose of Sharon, who is depressed

about Connie. Tom finds the intruders at the dance, but the intruders begin

a fight and immediately the police enter the camp. Huston confronts the

police about the intruders, asking who paid them. They only admit that they

have to make money somehow. Once the problem is defused, the dance goes on

without any problems.

Chapter Twenty-Five: Spring is beautiful in California, for behind the

fruitfulness of the trees in the orchards are men of understanding who

experiment with the seeds and crops to defend them against insects and

disease. Yet the fruits become rotten and soft. The rotten grapes are still

used for wine, even if contaminated with mildew and formic acid. The

rationale is that it is good enough for the poor to get drunk. The decay of

the fruit spreads over the state. The men who have created the new fruits

cannot create a system whereby the fruits may be eaten. There is a crime

here that goes beyond denunciation, a sorrow that weeping cannot symbolize.

Children must die from pellagra because the profft cannot be taken from an


Chapter Twenty-Six: One evening, Ma Joad watches Winfield as he sleeps; he

writhes as he sleeps, and he seems discolored. In the month that the Joads

have been in Weedpatch, Tom has had only five days of work, and the rest of

the men have had none. Ma worries because Rose of Sharon is close to

delivering her baby. Ma reprimands them for becoming discouraged. She tells

them that in such circumstances they don't have the right. Pa fears that

they will have to leave Weedpatch. When Tom mentions work in Marysville, Ma

decides that they will go there, for despite the accommodations at

Weedpatch, they have no opportunity to make money. They plan to go north,

where the cotton will soon be ready for harvest. Regarding Ma Joad's

forceful control of the family, Pa remarks that women seem to be in

control, and it may be time to get out a stick. Ma hears this, and tells

him that she is doing her job as wife, but he certainly isn't doing his job

as husband. Rose of Sharon complains that if Connie hadn't left they would

have had a house by now. Ma pierces Rose of Sharon's ears so that she can

wear small gold earrings. Al parts ways with a blonde girl that he has been

seeing; she rejects his promises that they will eventually get married. He

promises her that he'll return soon, but she does not believe him. Pa

remarks that he only notices that he stinks now that he takes regular

baths. Before they leave, Willie remarks that the deputies don't bother the

residents of Weedpatch because they are united, and that their solution may

be a union.

The car starts to break down as the Joads leave Al has let the battery run

down but he fixes the problem and they continue on their way. Al is

irritable as they leave. He says that he's going out on his own soon to

start a family. On the road, they get a flat tire. While Tom fixes the

tire, a businessman stops in his car and offers them a job picking peaches

forty miles north. They reach the ranch at Pixley where they are to pick

oranges for five cents a box. Even the women and children can do the job.

Ruthie and Winfield worry about settling down in the area and going to

school in California. They assume that everyone will call them Okies. At

the nearby grocery store owned by Hooper Ranch, Ma finds that the prices

are much higher than they would be at the store in town. The sales clerk

lends Ma ten cents for sugar. She tells him that it is only poor people who

will help out. That night, Tom goes for a walk, but a deputy tells him to

walk back to the cabin at the ranch. The deputy claims that if Tom is

alone, the reds will get to him.

While continuing on his walk, Tom finds Casy, who has been released from

jail. He is with a group of men that are on strike. Casy claims that people

who strive for justice always face opposition, citing Lincoln and

Washington, as well as the martyrs of the French Revolution. Casy, Tom and

the rest of the strikers are confronted by the police. A short, heavy man

with a white pick handle swings it at Casy, hitting him in the head. Tom

fights with the man, and eventually wrenches the club from him and strikes

him with it, killing him. Tom immediately fled the scene, crawling through

a stream to get back to the cabin. He cannot sleep that night, and in the

morning tells Ma that he has to hide. He tells her that he was spotted, and

warns his family that they are breaking the strike they are getting five

cents a box only because of this, and today may only get half that amount.

When Tom tells Ma that he is going to leave that night, she tells him that

they aren't a family anymore: Al cares about nothing more than girls, Uncle

John is only dragging along, Pa has lost his place as the head of the

family, and the children are becoming unruly. Rose of Sharon screams at Tom

for murdering the man she thinks that his sin will doom her baby. After a

day of work, Winfield becomes extremely sick from eating peaches. Uncle

John tells Tom that when the police catch him, there will be a lynching.

Tom insists that he must leave, but Ma insists that they leave as a family.

They hide Tom as they leave, taking the back roads to avoid police.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Those who want to pick cotton must first purchase a

bag before they can make money. The men who weigh the cotton fix the scales

to cheat the workers. The introduction of a cotton-picking machine seems


Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Joads now stay in a boxcar that stood beside the

stream, a small home that proved better than anything except for the

government camp. They were now picking cotton. Winfield tells Ma that

Ruthie told about Tom she got into an argument with some other kids, and

told them that her brother was on the run for committing murder. Ruthie

returns to Ma, crying that the kids stole her Cracker Jack the reason that

she threatened them by telling about Tom but Ma tells her that it was her

own fault for showing off her candy to others. That night, in the pitch

black, Ma Joad goes out into the woods and finds Tom, who has been hiding

out there. She crawls close to him and wants to touch him to remember what

he looked like. She wants to give him seven dollars to take the bus and get

away. He tells her that he has been thinking about Casy, and remembered how

Casy said that he went out into the woods searching for his soul, but only

found that he had no individual soul, but rather part of a larger one. Tom

has been wondering why people can't work together for their living, and

vows to do what Casy had done. He leaves, but promises to return to the

family when everything has blown over. As she left, Ma Joad did not cry,

but rain began to fall. When she returned to the boxcar, she meets Mr. and

Mrs. Wainwright, who have come to talk to the Joads about their daughter,

Aggie, who has been spending time with Al. They're worried that the two

families will part and then find out that Aggie is pregnant. Ma tells them

that she found Tom and that he is gone. Pa laments leaving Oklahoma, while

Ma says that women can deal with change better than a man, because women

have their lives in their arms, and men have it in their heads. For women,

change is more acceptable because it seems inevitable. Al and Aggie return

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