Grapes of Wrath Summary

Last Updated: 23 Mar 2023
Essay type: Summary
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The Grapes Of Wrath Gena Rodriguez Student in Crime Films The Grapes Of Wrath The Grapes Of Wrath was a book that followed the Joad family on their journey from their deserted farm in Oklahoma to the riches of California, as their farms were destroyed in Oklahoma. They took few possessions with them on their journey, however they had eachother. They even picked up others along the way, all in hopes of a vision of getting their lives on track in California. Their journey was not easy as they had trouble with their vehicle, they lost family members and friends to death, and even heard several rumors of a depleted job market.

The salesmen and pawnbrokers took full advantage of them as they knew that the families were in no position to deny payments for their goods. The family continued to stay together and remained positive as they looked forward to what was to come. Upon arrival in California, the Joads were met with much hostility. The camps were overcrowded and full of starving migrants, who were often nasty to each other. The locals were fearful and angry at the flood of newcomers, and label the migrants as “Okies. Work is almost impossible to find or pays such a meager wage that a family’s full day of work cannot buy a decent meal. Farmers resent the droves of Okies from flooding the state, as hungry and impoverished people are a danger. They are viewed as vagrants and thieves. The farmers, police and landowners were in a position of power, and it seems that they only seek to take advantage of those below them. They did not falter even when they were in a position to save a family, they refused to give up their wealth.

The farmers used the police to their advantage, as they would have deputies destroy secret gardens, so that the camps people would not have extra food. The police labeled labor organizers as “red” and had them removed from camps for trying to organize and get decent wages and contracts for workers. Those labeled as “red” were placed on a blacklist and could not get work. The farmers’ association even tried to organize a riot, which they would pay certain “Okies” to start trouble, get the organizers put in jail and have the camp shut down.

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The migrants, got word of this and prevented it. Police seemed to be uncaring, rude, and cold mannered. They were abusive and corrupt. Many of the people in the camps felt they had to pretend to be incoherent and ramble, act “bull simple”, so that the police viewed them as unthreatening and idiots. Many of the “Okies” seemed to lack respect for the police due to their degrading treatment. An example would be Ma Joad chasing the police officer with a skillet. The police also acted recklessly such as in the shooting of Floyd Knowles.

The police shot at him, but struck another woman in the crowd. Floyd Knowles was being arrested for trying to organize a contract and wages for workers, however the farmer became angry and informed the police. Knowles was later arrested on a bogus charge. The portrayal of police in this book can easily be compared to that of current police portrayals in movies and television shows. The times have changed to where people want to see the bad cop win or more action from police. The book portrays police as almost heartless and insincere, and corrupt.

It portrays the police officer not as someone you go to, but someone you stay away from, which is very much in line with current trends in media. There are so many different types of police officers portrayed. Certain fictional dramas have come to show police officers as being corrupt and taking advantage of the power they hold but in my opinion this is not just fictional but rather a reality. This typed is definitely apparent in the book and the show “Underbelly”. There are some shows which portray police as masculine, overly intelligent, fit, aggressive, action packed, and always willing to shoot at suspects.

The reality is that the public want to see these kinds of police officers. All of the excitement and glamour of being a police officer is what everyone wants to watch. A show where police are filling out forms and writing up boring reports just won’t cut it. The glamourized types of officers are portrayed in shows like “Hawaii 5 0” and “NYPD”, whereas the more realistic approach to policing is portrayed in shows like “First 48” and “cops”. References The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Grapes of Wrath Summary. (2017, Jan 15). Retrieved from

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