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Chapter 17: Migrants  We. Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno !.

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Chapter 17: Migrants  We

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Chapter 17 migrants we

Chapter 17: Migrants We

Unus pro omnibus omnes pro uno

Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

“they had all come from a place of sadness and worry and defeat, and because they were all going to a new mysterious place, they huddled together they talked together; they shared their lives, their food, and the things they hoped” (264).

  • “twenty were one” (264).

    The power of we…

Us vs them

Us vs. them

“Every night relationships that make a world, established; and every morning the world torn down like a circus” (265).

New society is forming

New Society is forming

  • What rights must be followed i.e. right of privacy in the tent, to refuse help or accept

  • What rights “are monstrous and must be destroyed” i.e. seduction or rape, theft, murder etc. (265)

Developing their own world slowly with laws and leaders.

Two punishments

Two Punishments

  • Ostracism

  • Quick and murderous fight

  • If you break the laws then there is “no place in any world, no matter where created” for you (266).

Change is coming

Change is coming…

  • Farm men become migrant men.

  • “Thus they changed their social life– changed as in the whole universe only man can change (267).

  • We… unit… family

Families are united but at night they wonder

Families are united, but at night they wonder…

  • “Maybe, the thought, maybe we sinned some way we didn’t know about” (271).

  • What are they feeling? Why are they even thinking this?

Music brings them together

Music brings them together

  • “Ten-Cent Cotton and Forty-Cent Meat”

  • “Why Do You Cut Your Hair, Girls”

  • “I’m Leaving Old Texas” sang before the Spaniards came, only the words were Indian then. What does Steinbeck mean?

  • Why do you think all cultures find themselves drawn to music? What can we learn through music?

Chapter 17 migrants we

  • “Look out for the desert. See you don’t get hung up. Take plenty water, case you get up” (273).

    How has nature impacted the migrants lives so far?

    What could Steinbeck be foreshadowing in this chapter?

Chapter 18 the desert

Chapter 18: The Desert

Got any plants

“Got any plants?”

Joads travel into Arizona

Why would the border guard ask them about plants?

What danger could the migrants having plants pose?

“Go ahead, but you better keep moving.”

Man vs nature

Man vs. Nature

  • Water grew scarce…had to be bought even survival costs money now

  • Flight from the sun and the drought

Chapter 17 migrants we

  • Granma still going nuts

  • Uncle John not impressed with California’s prosperity so far

  • Tom worried about crossing the desert

  • Pa wants to get to California to work because they only have $40

Noah wants to lay in the water forever without a care in the world

Noah wants to lay in the water forever without a care in the world

Tom notices the “tough mountains” and thinks it “murder country” (278).

Man and son

Man and Son

“But at leas’ we can starve to death with folks we know. Won’t have a bunch a fellas that hate us to starve with” (279).

“She’s a nice country. But she was stole a long time ago… the lan’slayin’ fallow. But you can’t have none of that lan’. That’s a Lan’ and Cattle Company… You go in there an’ plant you a little corn, an’ you’ll go to jail” (279).

Greed vs. hunger

Want vs. need

Chapter 17 migrants we


  • Law enforcement pushes them around

  • Okie= “dirty son-of-a-bitch” (280)

  • 300,000 of our people there- “an’ livin’ like hogs, cause ever’thing in California is owned” (280)

    • Owners will hang onto their land no matter how many people they kill or hurt– fear losing their land, power, and money.

Chapter 17 migrants we

  • Can’t touch anything because they’ll kill you.

  • No land to own

  • Only unsteady work

Chapter 17 migrants we

  • Newspaper owner has a million acres.

  • Bullet proof car, scared he’s going to die

    Shows greed: the disease of capitalism

Richness in universal soul money vs intrinsic wealth

Richness in universal soulMoney vs. intrinsic wealth

Casy- “If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich, seems to me he needs it ‘cause he feels awful poor inside hisself, and if he’s poor in hisself, there ain’t no million acres gonna make him feel rich, an’ maybe’s disappointed that nothin’ he can do’ll make him feel rich– not rich like Mis’ Wilson was when she give her tent when Grampa died” (282).

I vs. We

Noah and the river

Noah and the River

  • Can’t leave

  • His place is in nature, no place for him in man’s world

  • River= life

  • Here the river is mirage

  • Thinks he’s safe and can’t die by a river, but it’s different here…



  • Noah leaves the family at the river before the desert.

    • Sense of loss?

    • "You know how it is, Tom. You know how the folks are nice to me. But they don't really care for me."

  • The Wilsons are unable to make the crossing.

    • Sairy Wilson’s goodbye to Ma and Casy

  • Grandma’s Death

    • Grandma dies on the crossing over the desert.

    • Really dies with the passing of Grandpa

    • Grandma’s Death as rebirth of the family? All the money spent, new beginning for those who can

Circle of life

Circle of life

Ma talking to Roseasharn, “They’s a time of change, an’ when that comes, dyin’ is a piece of all dyin’, and bearin’ is a piece of all bearin’, an’ bearin’ an’ dyin’ is two pieces of the same things. And then things ain’t lonely any more. An’ then a hurt don’t hurt so bad, ‘auseitain’t a lonely hurt no more” (286).

We-universal soul

Woman in torn black dress

Woman in torn black dress

  • Jehovah’s witness wants to pray over Grandma

  • Why doesn’t Ma want them to come in?

Deputy comes

Deputy comes…

  • He’s rude. Represents prejudice of the law enforcements, injustice.

  • Ma’s strength: “Mister, you got a tin button an’ a gun. Where I come from, you keep your voice down” with a skillet in hand, causing him to reach for his gun (291).

  • “Go ahead… In my country you watch your tongue” (291).- fearless, asking for respect.

  • Scares him off

Chapter 17 migrants we

  • Ma feels like she can’t think anymore

  • So much else to worry about, no time to think

  • Power in confusing people keep them struggling to survive.

    • No time to think about why it’s wrong.

What is courage

What is courage?

  • Service station boy says Joads got more nerve than him to cross the desert in a jalopy

  • Tom- “It don’t’ take no nerve to do somepin when there ain’tnothin’ else you can do” (301).

Boy and laborer s thoughts on okies

Boy and Laborer’s thoughts on “Okies”

  • Got no sense and no feeling

  • They ain’t human

  • If they were human, they couldn’t stand to be so dirty.

  • Compares them to gorillas.

    How are these two working class boys feeding into stereotypes. Is this an example of racism or regionalism? Do we see this today?

Uncle john and casy s discussion

Uncle John and Casy’s Discussion

  • Uncle John- “Feelin’ I’m bringin’ bad luck to my own folks.”

  • Casy- man’s got to do what he’s got to do. “Nobody got a right to mess with a fella’s life… A fella build his own sins right up from the ground” (306).

Chapter 17 migrants we

When the Joads reach California, how is their success compromised? Why did not Ma stop for Granma? What does Tom say is the reason for Grampa and Granma’s deaths?

-Ma tells them that Granma died, but she did not want to stop for Granma

doing so would have stopped the family from getting to California and their chance for survival.

-Tom eases Ma’s guilt saying they wouldn’t have made it anyway.

Death of grandma ma s courage and love for the family

Death of Grandma—Ma’s courage and love for the family.

  • "John, there's a woman so great with love- she scares me. Makes me afraid an' mean."

  • She can’t bear the emotion—refuses to let Tom touch her afterwards

  • Faith That Her People, Her Family Will Survive

    • Why, Tom- us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain'tgonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people-we go on.“

  • Rattlesnake


    “A rattlesnake crawled across the road and Tom hit it and broke it and left it squirming” (314).

    What does this represent?

    Considering that the Joads have to pay $40 for Granma’s burial, which means they have “to start clean” how could the killing of rattlesnake be symbolic?

    Chapter 19 history of california

    Chapter 19:History of California

    Money/Ownership Dehumanizing

    Want and Need



    • Read first two pages to yourself. What is being described. What are the farms an example of?

    What s the story of the land

    What’s the story of the land?

    • Mexicans originally owned

    • Americans stole it

    • Individual farmers owned it and overproduced crops

      • lost money because they had no business sense

    • Bank owned it

      • As time went on “the farms grew larger and the owners fewer.”

      • Okieswant land and foodlandnot used=sin.

    Sickness of capitalism

    Sickness of Capitalism

    • Squatters farm owners began to lose love for land

    • Land become market deal, “crops were bought and sold before they were planted” (316).

    • “all their love was thinned with money”

    • No longer farmers but “little shopkeepers of crops, little manufacturers before they can make.”

    Theme of inhumanity

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely

    • Power creates monsters

    • Poverty creates less than humans

      • Strips people of their rights

    Migrants ants

    Migrants= ants

    • The migrants are described as ants “scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land” (317).

    The okies

    The Okies

    • The migrants are seen as subhuman by all the people they encounter. They are defined this way, limited, and feared.

      • The owners fear their strength if they come together

      • The residents fear their willingness to work so cheaply

    • Ironically, the greatest hatred comes from fear of their strength

      • “…the owners hated them because the owners knew they were soft and the Okies strong, that they were fed and the Okies hungry; and perhaps the owners had heard from their grandfathers how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed.”

      • “Them goddamn Okies got no sense and no feeling. They ain't human. A human being wouldn‘t live like they do. A human being couldn't stand it to be so dirty and miserable.”

    • Contrast with Steinbeck’s powerful portrayals of the family’s humanity.

    Fallow fields

    Fallow Fields

    • Sin to Okies to let the fields sit unused

    • Even worse were guards that would not let man “pick an orange for a thin child, oranges to be dumped if the price was low” (319).

    • Why would they dump the oranges?



    • Disorganized, semi-permanent camps on the edges of towns. Shanty towns.

    • Named After President Herbert Hoover

    • As many as 500,000 people lived in these conditions in California

    • The Hooverville that the Joads encounter offers a stark warning about the conditions they are likely to encounter as they continue their journey.

    Chapter 17 migrants we

    “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him– he has known a fear beyond every other” (323).

    These last few paragraph what is Steinbeck foreshadowing? Why are these men dangerous?

    What makes a crime

    What makes a crime?

    Stealing milk for a hungry baby. Is that a crime?

    • Know how the Fairfiel' ranch was got? I'll tell ya. It was all gov'mentlan', an' could be took up. Ol' Fairfiel', he went into San Francisco to the bars, an' he got him three hunderd stew bums. Them bums took up the lan'. Fairfiel' kep' 'em in food an' whisky, an' then when they'd proved the lan', ol' Fairfiel' took it from 'em. He used to say the lan' cost him a pint of rotgut an acre. Would you say that was stealin'?

    • Well, it wasn't right, but he never went to jail for it.

    • No, he never went to jail for it. An' the fella that put a boat in a wagon an' made his report like it was all under water 'cause he went in a boat- he never went to jail neither. An' the fellas that bribed congressmen and the legislatures never went to jail neither.

    3 cries of history

    3 Cries of History

    • When property accumulates in two few hands it is taken away

    • When a majority of people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need

    • Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed or oppressed

    Owners constantly trying to repress the people

    Owners constantly trying to repress the people

    So they take their money and use it “for arms, for gas to protect the great holdings, and spies were sent to catch the murmuring of revolt so that it might be stamped out” (325).

    What are they trying to stamp out? Was by weapons their only course of action?

    Is an uprising inevitable

    Is an uprising inevitable?

    “The great owners formed associations for protection and they met to discuss ways to intimidate, to kill, to gas. And always they were in fear of a principal– three hundred thousand– if they ever move under a leader– the end. Three hundred thousand, hungry and miserable; if they ever know themselves, the land will be theirs and all the gas, all the rifles in the world won’t stop them” (325).

    What s the importance of the closing paragraphs

    What’s the importance of the closing paragraphs?

    • Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor. Pray God some day a kid can eat. I love you

    • And the association of owners knew that some day the praying would stop.

    • And there's the end.

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