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What are some intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath?

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kristenpayne | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM via web

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What are some intercalary chapters in The Grapes of Wrath?

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gcampane | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM (Answer #1)

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The intercalary chapters appear throughout The Grapes of Wrath in order to help the reader understand the greater scope of the time period.  For example, chapter 1 gives the setting of the novel by describing the Dust Bowl in detail. 

While the chapters dealing with the Joads let us know more about the plot and characters, the intercalary chapters give us a reference outside just one family and show the greater societal influence of those same actions and events. Chapter 14 is a good example of this, showing the migration of the people of Oklahoma to California along Route 66.

In other circumstances, the intercalary chapters offer more symbolic significance of foreshadowing, as with the turtle in chapter 3. 

When you come across these intercalary chapters, ask yourself the deeper meaning Steinbeck is conveying to the reader through the details included.

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michellexo | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM (Answer #2)

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The intercalary chapters are all the odd ones, except 13 and including chapters 12 and 14.


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