The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath book cover
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Suggested Essay Topics

Chapters 1–6
1. Compare and contrast the characters of Jim Casy and Tom Joad as revealed in their first conversations.

2. Explain the three-fold symbolism of giving the name Muley Graves to the dispossessed farmer.

Chapters 7–11
1. Compare the behavior of the used car salesmen and the buyers of the belongings of the dispossessed farmers.

2. Discuss what the family council meeting, before they set out, tells about the way of life and culture of the Joads.

Chapters 12–16
1. Describe and comment on the emerging changes in Tom Joad’s character as shown in his behavior with the gas station man, the one-eyed man, and the camp proprietor.

2. Explain and illustrate the ways in which Ma Joad’s character remains essentially unchanged, with one exception, as she is confronted with new situations.


(The entire section is 251 words.)