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Grapes of Wrath 8-10. Quickwrite. 1. Articulate some of the criticisms of Capitalism that Steinbeck makes in these first ten chapters. 2. What are your personal reactions to these criticisms? . Chapter 8. Discussion Questions. What kind of woman is Ma Joad ? Use quotes to explain her.

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  • 1. Articulate some of the criticisms of Capitalism that Steinbeck makes in these first ten chapters.
  • 2. What are your personal reactions to these criticisms?
discussion questions
Chapter 8Discussion Questions
  • What kind of woman is Ma Joad? Use quotes to explain her.
  • What does Casy say in this chapter? What is his understanding of the "holy"? How does he define it? What examples does he use?
  • End of chapter kernels
chapter 9
Chapter 9
  • What must these migrants give up? What is their sacrifice? How fair is this? What commentary can you infer about Capitalism in these passages?

"you're not buying only junk, you're buying junked lives ... buying the arms and spirits that might have saved you ... buying a little girl plaiting the forelocks [of a horse] ... buying years of work, toil in the sun ... a sorrow that can't talk"?

chapter 91
Chapter 9
  • What is meant by the following statement: "We could have saved you, but you cut us down, and soon you will be cut down and there'l be none of us to save you"
  • What is meant by, "And some day--the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it"? Is this ominous? Why? What does Steinbeck have in mind?
  • The car dealer chapter is a perfect analogy for the larger capitalist system of profit above all else. The most money comes from taking the worst car and dressing it up real nice to exploit a former farm owner to waste their money.
  • The Joads are a tough group of people, hardened by life. The discussion at the end of chapter eight reveals Steinbeck’s largely socialist viewpoint, championing the common good over individual interests.
  • The selling of belongings illustrates the necessity of choosing practical items over those with sentimental value. This solidifies that the Joads, and the thousands like them, really must give up everything including memories.
discussion chapter 10
Discussion: Chapter 10

Jim Casy: Moral Compass

  • Why does Casy want to go to California too? What does he want to do there?
  • In his catalogue of things he would like to do, do you perceive certain echoes of the spirit and ideas of a  nineteenth-century American poet? Why is this significant? What distinctly American spirit is Steinbeck trying to resurrect through Casy?
  • Why does Steinbeck continue referring to Casy as "the preacher" even though he has technically renounced preaching?
chap 10
Chap 10

* What issues are addressed here? *What are the Joads confronting? *What secret realities elude them? How do the Joads determine the value of things? How does the buyer do it differently?

  • After getting only eighteen dollars for all their movable possessions, the Joads are said to be "weary and frightened because they had gone against a system they did not understand and it had beaten them. They knew the team and the wagon were worth much more. They knew the buyer man would get much more, but they didn't know how to do it. Merchandising was a secret to them"
chapter 10 providing a contrast
Chapter 10: Providing a contrast
  • What is the meaning of Ma's assertion, "It ain't kin we? It's will we?," in reference to whether or not to help others? What does this suggest? What is Ma's philosophy of life and human relations? How does this differ from the guiding principles of capitalism? Why is Ma "powerful in the group"?