The Grapes of Wrath Chapters 1-6 Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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Chapters 1-6 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What signs were the farm women and children watching the men for?

2. Why is the truck driver who gives Tom a ride nameless?

3. Why does the truck driver break the “No Riders” rule of his company?

4. How does the land turtle foreshadow events in the story?

5. What reason does Jim Casy give for no longer preaching?

6. How did the bankers’ agents explain foreclosing on mortgages and driving the farmers off of their land?

7. What reason does Muley Graves give for sharing his rabbits?

8. What does the presence of the cat and the condition of the Joad house tell Tom?

9. Why does the author have Tom tell about keeping to himself and not causing trouble in prison?

10. What is the motive for farmers such as Joe Davis’ son taking jobs bulldozing other farmers’ homes?

Answers
1. The women looked for signs that they had not given up, defeated by the conflict with nature, or that the men still had the spirit to go on. The women could be strong only as long as the men had hope, and the children were aware of this.

2. He is unimportant as an individual character, yet his symbolic representation of the struggle of one class against another is important.

3. He is lonely and wants someone to talk to, and he greatly resents the company policy.

4. The turtle plods along on its way with purpose and tenacity despite encountering many difficulties and setbacks, as will the Joads and the other migrants.

5. He began to consider his own behavior to be sinful while he was preaching against sin. After much meditation he concluded there was no sin or virtue, only what people did, upon which no judgment should be placed.

6. They said the banks needed profits to survive and since the small farms were not providing enough profits they had to be consolidated into larger units.

7. He says there is no choice but to share when one person has food and another person doesn’t.

8. Tom realized that all the neighbors were gone too. If only the Joads had left, those remaining would have taken the lumber from the house, and the cat would be better fed.

9. He is establishing Tom as a person primarily concerned with only himself and his own well-being.

10. They are as much the victims of the depression and the drought as the other farmers and have accepted the work to help their families to survive.