Grapes Of Wrath By SteinbeckThe Grapes of Wrath: The Purpose of the Interchapters – Sara Stark Initially, Ifound the interchapters to be annoying, interruptions to the story. It was onlywhen I realized the point in having the interchapters that I understood that notonly did they not interrupt the story, but they added to it tremendously. Theinterchapters provide indirect comments or general situations which suggestsomething about the personal tragedies of the main characters. These commentsand situations help give the reader an understanding of what the characters aregoing through by either showing metaphorically their present or future triumphsand struggles or explaining the history of the period that they lived in.Order now
Chapter three is an interchapter. It describes a concrete highway that a landturtle struggled to cross. The turtle was finally almost there when it was hitby a truck and its shell was chipped and it was thrown on its back. The turtlehad to struggle even hard but it did get going again.
This chapter representedthe continual struggle of that the Joads would have to face throughout theentire story. Throughout the novel the Joads meet many hardships. They areforced to leave their home, lose family members such as the grandparents andNoah, work for low wages, and suffer from hunger floods and cruel prejudices inCalifornia. But, just as the turtle refused to be swayed from his purpose sowill the Joads. Chapter five is an interchapter that discusses a tractors hiredby banks or a corporations that would come to the land and plow through it,destroying everything in its path. The chapter is an abstract conflict betweenthe tenant farmer and the banks and shows the pain of a tenant farmer uponleaving the land that was settled by their grandfather.
The tenant farmer was soupset that he threatened to shoot the driver . Another chapter describes atenant farmer who has to leave and is cheated into paying to much for a car. Chapter nine describes the generalized families who must sell their sentimentalgoods at absurdly low prices. These chapters present the situations which theJoads come across very soon.
The Joads have to leave their land and sell alltheir things. Pa dreads telling Ma, in chapter ten, the price he sold theirthings for. Grandpa threatens to kill the tractor driver who was plowing theirland just like the tenant farmer who Steinback described. The Joads had to buy aused car in order to go to California.
The interchapters provided general socialsituations which Joads had to face. Interchapters nineteen and twenty one thedevelopment of land ownership in California. Chapter nineteen explains how theAmericans took California from the Mexicans and people known as”squatters” acquired lots of land and thought of it as their own. Theyhired people to work the land and became great owners. The problem was that manypeople from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas began to arrive and the owners didn’twant them to become “squatters” so they hated them and called them”Okies”. These owners cut wages in order to pay policemen to guard andprotect their property.
In the next chapter, the Joads are called Okies and ayoung man explains to Tom that the people are afraid that the Okies will getorganized if they stay in one place for long enough so they push them around. This man also explains how no one can get people together to organize becausethe cops will arrest whoever starts up. Chapter twenty one describes how thepeople with small jobs in California are afraid of the Okies because they don’twant to lose their jobs. The big companies could make wages very low becausepeople were starving and would work for low wages. The following chapterexplains how Tom met Timothy Wallace who told him that he would only have hisjob for a couple of days and his wages were being cut. The interchaptersdescribe general situations and the chapters after them explain how thatparticular situation affects or will affect the Joads.
The reader can learn manydetails about the hardships that the Joads went through by reading about thehardships of the migrant workers as a whole. By certain metaphors, like theturtle, that Steinback used in the interchapters we can learn about the natureand the struggle of the Joads throughout the novel.