The Grapes of Wrath Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In "The Grapes of Wrath", Casy goes to jail. In what chapter does he go to jail?

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Chapter 20 contains the scene where Jim Casy is taken to jail. The Joads and Casy are at the first squatter's camp they stay in when they finally arrive in California.  At this camp, some men come into the camp claiming they have work to offer, picking fruit.  One man from the camp, Floyd, asks some questions such as how much will the pickers get paid, how many workers are needed, and such.  One of the work contractors gets mad and claims that Floyd is creating trouble.  A scuffle follows, Floyd runs, and one of the sheriff's deputies who is with the men who drove into the camp, shoots wildly at the running Floyd.  Tom trips the deputy.  Casy knows that when the other sheriff's deputies arrive, Tom will be in trouble since he's already broken parole by leaving the state of Oklahoma.  Therefore, Casy takes the blame for tripping up the deputy.  This is important to the story because as the Christ figure, Casy must spend time among the downtrodden in the jails to come to a full realization of what needs to be done for the migrant people.  This is his opportunity to symbolically go into the "wilderness" and come to personal realizations.

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