Illustration of the back a man in a hat and overalls looking towards the farmland

The Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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Chapters 7-11 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. How did the used car salesmen take advantage of the farmers?

2. What is Ma and Pa Joad’s first concern upon seeing Tom?

3. What is Ma’s second concern about Tom?

4. What makes Ma Joad the core and strength of the family?

5. How does Jim Casy’s behavior liken him to Jesus Christ?

6. Why did the farmers have to sell their tools and possessions for so little?

7. How do Ma and Tom feel about going to California just as the family is about to set off?

8. Why does Jim Casy ask to come along?

9. What does Ma do with the last few of her personal things, and why does she do it?

10. Why does Grampa change his mind about going to California?

1. They knew the farmers needed the cars and asked either high cash prices or high interest rates and sold anything they could get to operate through a variety of tricks, knowing they would not get complaints about the condition of the vehicles.

2. They are worried that Tom has broken out of jail, which would cause a problem for the family.

3. She is worried that jail may have made him “mean mad” like Pretty Boy Floyd and he will behave accordingly.

4. When she shows joy the family is happy. If she shows hurt they are sad. She is healer and arbiter and holds herself calm knowing that if she falters the family’s will to go on would be lost.

5. The first sign we see of this is his questioning of the traditional religious ideas and his going off for years to wander and think things through. Then we see his desire to do something to help all people to a better life.

6. They could not take these things along and needed what money they could get for them to pay for gas and food on their journey, and the buyers, like the sellers of cars, took advantage of this to pay as little as possible.

7. They have some doubts about how good life will be there, but decide it is worthwhile to take life as it comes.

8. He wants to be among people again because he considers that holy in itself.

9. She picks out a very few things which seem to mean the most to her and burns the rest. She knew there was little room on the car made into a truck, and she had already insisted on taking the kitchen implements with which she could feed the family.

10. He just didn’t want to leave what he considered his country, feeling he belonged there.

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