45 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1939

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Chapters 10-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary

Tom and his mother discuss California. She expresses a wary optimism, saying, “Seems too nice, kinda” (94). A leaflet she received said that there will be high wages and plentiful work picking fruit there. However, Tom warns her of what he heard from a man inside prison. The man told Tom that the migrant fruit pickers in California live in camps, with work poorly paid and hard to find. Casy then joins them. He talks about how he no longer wants to baptise people or teach them; instead, he wants to learn from them and from the poetry in their way of talking.

The rest of the family is on the way back from selling their surplus possessions in town. With them are Tom’s other three younger siblings: 12-year-old sister Ruthie, 10-year-old brother Winfield, and 18-year-old sister Rose of Sharon. Rose of Sharon is pregnant and married to a 19-year-old man named Connie. There is a further description of Uncle John as someone who, for the most part, has no interest in food, sex, or alcohol. On the other hand, it is said he sometimes goes to extremes in satisfying them. The men coming back in the truck are “tired and angry and sad” because “they had got eighteen dollars for every movable thing from the farm” (101).