The Grapes of Wrath


Chapters 6 - 12

Chapter 6 Summary

As Tom and Casy look down on the former Joad homestead, they see that one side of the house is collapsed. Investigating the empty house, Tom is surprised by the amount of useful materials that have not been salvaged by the neighbors. He takes this to mean that the surrounding families, like the Joads, have simply abandoned their farms. A neighbor named Muley Graves soon approaches and sheds light on the mystery. He explains how the families have all been “tractored” off their land so the banks could plant cotton. The Joads are staying at Tom’s Uncle John’s house, picking cotton and saving money for a car to drive to California. Muley’s own family has already left for California, but he could not bring himself to go with them. He stubbornly insists on staying on the land, although there is no work and he has no house and little food. Casy admonishes Muley for “breaking up the famb’ly.”

That evening, Muley shares his humble dinner of jackrabbit with Tom and Casy. The men are forced to hide as police lights sweep over the land. Muley shows the other men to a nearby cave, which he has camouflaged with brush so as to stay out of sight. Tom refuses to sleep in the cave, balking at the thought of having to conceal himself. He lies down by the river instead. Casy lies awake, deeply troubled by what Muley has told them.

Chapter 7 Summary

This chapter is narrated from the point of view of a greedy used car salesman. Displaced sharecroppers desperately fleeing to California are all in need of used cars, and the salesmen happily exploit this fact. Since the farmers know little about cars, they are easily duped and will buy anything. The salesman describes some specific tactics for deceiving the farmers, such as pulling out new batteries and replacing them with old, broken batteries just before handing over the car.  

Chapter 8 Summary

In the morning, Casy and Tom make their way to Uncle John’s house. As...

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Essays About The Grapes of Wrath