45 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1939

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Chapters 6-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 6 Summary

Tom and Casy find Tom’s parents’ house, discovering it abandoned and derelict. As Casy says, “If I was still a preacher I’d say the arm of the Lord had struck” (42). Part of the house is caved in, the well is filled with concrete, and the property is covered with cotton plants. Tom notices a cat which belonged to the family approaching them. It makes him realize that everyone in the area must have quickly left. This is the case since otherwise the cat would have moved in with another family. Further, if the neighbors were still there, they would have taken timber from the house.

Tom and Casy notice an old acquaintance of theirs, Muley Graves, walking through the fields. He joins them and tells Tom that his parents moved out and are now living with Tom’s uncle in another village. Muley also explains to Tom and Casy why all the people have left the land. Due to the dustbowl and failure of the crops, the owners of the land wanted to consolidate the land to guarantee their margin of profit. Muley’s family already left for California. He decided to stay, though, surviving off wild game and sleeping outside.