What page is the "movement from I to we" on in The Grapes of Wrath on?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of the narration is written in third person, but some chapters have anonymous characters narrate the Joads' journey to give an outside, objective point of view. On page 206 (Chapter 14) the narration shows the break from "I" to "we":

If you who own the things people must have could under- stand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could sepa- rate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we."

Enotes' editors analyze Chapter 14 thusly:

The joining of the Joad and Wilson families and the short intercalary chapter which follows carry forward some of the recurring themes of the story. First of these is Ma’s thought that the poor must look to their own kind when they need help. In the banding together into a larger family, the concern shifts from the individual “I” to the communal “we” of a larger society. In “We have a little food,” the reader hears an echo of Muley Graves sharing what little he had with those who had none.

Read the study guide:
The Grapes of Wrath

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