Grapes of Wrath Connections


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Housing was rough during the Dust Bowl. These homeless, traveling people really represent what the Joads went through. These people traveled and traveled looking for work but to no avail. They ended up in boxcars, under billboards, and a lot of them in Hoovervilles and tents. The Joads did exactly that and went from "home" to "home". They eventually found some good work but still lived in a boxcar.

"In the evening a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream." (Steinbeck 198)


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Cars were vital during the Dust Bowl. If you didn't own a car or a horse and carriage you were in a huge rut. The only other way of traveling was by feet or hitchhiking. The Joad's car was huge for them. They were able to travel all the way to California in their car. Without their car they wouldn't have new jobs and would still be traveling to California. Then the flood came and destroyed the car. Without the car they really have nowhere to go. The people in the pictures were in a similar situation. They absolutely needed their cars and without them they be nothing. If you didn't own a car you were most likely stuck and couldn't go anywhere.

"That rattle – that's tappets. Don't hurt a bit. Tappets can rattle till Jesus comes again without no harm. But that thudding as the car moves along – can't hear that – just kind of feel it. Maybe oil isn't gettin' someplace. Maybe a bearing's startin' to go." (Steinbeck 119)


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Work was crucial to living during the Dust Bowl. People would nearly do anything for money because the Dust Bowl itself left people with nothing. The Joads themselves left home for that exact reason, to go find hope and money in California. The Joads eventually do but most people really couldn't find jobs. Money was a rarity and was hard to come by. There was really no hope without money. People would do painstaking work for a job that payed very little but it was worth it to survive.

"Once over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can on relief Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why there's always some kind of crop to work in why don't you go there?" (Steinbeck 34)


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Live was not even close to luxurious for people in the Dust Bowl. Even when you found a "home" it was terribly messy and not the slightest bit comfortable. In your little "town" there was trash, disease, and sickness. People would sleep on the ground and treat it like home. The Joads were in the same exact situation as these people. The Joads jumped from Hooverville to boxcars and really never had a true "home". The Joads had to deal with the same nastiness as these people did. The Joads persevered through it all and came out okay.

"The houses were vacant, and a vacant house falls quickly apart."(Steinbeck 149)