45 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1939

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Chapters 22-25Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 22 Summary

The Joads arrive at a government camp in the evening. They are thrilled to learn that the place has hot running water and that “folks here elect their own cops” (299), with state police not permitted to enter without a warrant. In the morning Tom sees a young woman frying bacon. She invites him to join her and two men, Timothy and Wilkie, for breakfast. After telling their story about how they had to sell their car just to get money for food, they invite Tom to help them work for a man named Mr. Thomas.

Thomas, a small farmer growing cotton, explains that he will have to cut their wages from 30 to 25 cents per hour. This change, he claims, is being forced on him by the Farmers Association, a group representing the landowners in California. The Farmers Association does not want unrest by some farmers paying more than the 25 cents they have decided on. However, Thomas informs them that the groups which burnt the last camp they were in were being paid by the association. He also warns them that the same people will try and provoke a fight at the government camp to justify deputies entering and clearing it out.