The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some good themes or main ideas developed in chapters 17 through 21 in the novel The Grapes of Wrath?

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Here are the main ideas in Chapters 17-21 of The Grapes of Wrath.

Chapter 17 describes how the families traveling to find a better life camp along the road and become one large family. While they are together, rules are established within the group. Those who will not follow the rules are forced to leave, while those who conform are a part of this larger "family," and visit as families might at the end of the day, sharing stories and dreams, and then resting for the trials that will be faced the following day.

In Chapter 18, Steinbeck describes what happens to the Joads as they reach the Arizona border. A man they meet reports to Tom that migrant workers (such as themselves) are called "Okies," which has become a derogatory term. Noah decides to settle at a river he and Tom visit. In a delirium, Granma speaks to Grampa.

Ivy Wilson reports that they will not be traveling with the Joads any farther, as Mrs. Wilson is ill. (She has cancer, but has told no one.) Casy refuses to pray over her,...

(The entire section contains 570 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial