Grapes of Wrath chapter breakdown questions

Grapes of Wrath
Discussion Points
Group Vocab Review
1. By way of Drawing, writing a sentence where they
fill in the blank, using an Analogy, showing
synonyms or creating a scenario, create a Quiz-like
question for the person to your right to solve
2. When you finish creating it, pass it to your right
and solve the problem for the person to your left
(if you get stuck, ask for help from anyone other
than who than who created the question)
3. Go through as many as you possibly can get in the
10 minutes you are given.
4. The winning Team with as many accurate words
and answers as possible score BONUS POINTS
Discussion Group #1
1. Look at your Anticipation Guide and
decide on three points that struck you
the most
2. Discuss these with your group. Come
to consensus about what you think is
most interesting or important.
3. On your tent at the center table, write
up to three points you would like to
focus your reading. Feel free to put
these in your own words or summarize
We will often refer to these points
as we read.
Intercalary Chapter Presentations
Take notes on the following with each
intercalary chapter. These will be
used in your analysis project at the
end of the unit.
 Describe the images, music, and clips you see in their
 What feelings do the slides, music, and clips evoke in the
 What do you think the presenters were trying to
accomplish with their work? What were they trying to
teach you? –OR- What did you learn?
 How do the images connect to the chapter? How do they
connect to today?
*If you want to be sophisticated about it, connect the notes
to your group focus statements.
Chapter 1
What does the opening scene
suggest about the novel?
What does it suggest about
family structure?
How do you define family in
comparison to this
Chapter 2
Discuss the interactions
between the driver and Tom
Joan. What inferences do you
make from them?
Chapter 3
 Animals play an important symbolic role in
the novel. What importance does the land
turtle have in Ch. 3?
 What are you noticing about the structure
of the novel (1,3,5 are written differently
than 2,4,6)? Who is telling the story and
what is the value of altering voices in
Ch. 4
What are the motivations
of each character for
going to California? What
emotions and
expectations can you see
in each of them?
Chapter Five Discussion Group
 Define and describe the relationship between the
people who farm, and work on and live on the land
and the people ho own it.
 Look at the conversation between the tractor driver
and the tenant on pages 36-39. What is happening to
the community based on the decisions of the land
owners and banks.
 Steinbeck seems to treat the Banks as a person.
Characterize the bank. What kind of person or being is
Final Product: What idea is Steinbeck
suggesting/ promoting in Chapter
Five? Do you agree with his ideas?
Write one sentence you can defend.
Group Focus
 Look at your focus point(s) that your group created
on your green sheet. Discuss how this theme or
concept is evident in the book so far and write notes
inside the tent.
 Some additional things you may want to look at or add
to your focus/ discussion are:
 Masculinity vs. femininity
 Identity/ The land
 Modernization vs. technology
 Wealth vs. Poverty
 Power vs. powerlessness
Chapters 5-8
 Who said this? About what? What do you learn from it?
 “Times changed, don’t you know? Thinking about stuff like that don’t
feed the kids. Get your three dollars a day, feed your kids. You got no
call to worry about anyone's kids but your own.”
 “Where does it stop. Who do I shoot? I don’t aim to starve to death
before I kill the man that is starving me.”
 “If I was still a preacher, I’d ay the arm of the Lord had struck. I don’t
know what happened. I been away. I didn’t hear nothin.”
 “Them Dirty Sons of Bitches. I tell ya, men I’m stayin. They ain’t
gettin rid a me. If they throw me off, I’ll come back, an’ if they figger
I’ll be quiet underground, why I’ll take a couple-three sons of bitches
for company. I ain’t goin. My pa came here fifty years ago an I ain’t
 “Somepin went and happened to me when they tol’ me I had to get
off the place. First I was gonna go in an’ kill a whole flock of people.
Then all my folks went away out West. An’ I got wnaderin’ aroun’. Jus’
walkin’ aroun’. Never went far. Slep’ wherever I was…. Folks never
comin’ back. I am jus’ wanderin’ aroun. Like a gaveyard fool.
Chapters 5-8
 Who said this? About what? What do you learn from it?
 “We was drunk. Drunk at a dance. I don’ know how she started.
An’ then I felt this knife go in me, an’ that shocked me and
sobered me up. Fust thing I see is Herb comin’ comin’ up for me
with his knife. They was this here shovel leanin’ against the
schoolhouse, so I grabbed it an’ smacked him over the head. I
never had nothin’ against Herb. Nice fella.”
 “Get ‘em under obligation. Make ‘em take up your time. Don’t let
‘em forget they’re takin up your time. People are nice mostly.
They hate to put you out. Make ‘em put you out, and’ then sock it
to ‘em”
 “Jus’ let me get out to California where I can pick me an orange
when I want it. Or grapes. .. Gonna get me a whole bunch of
grapes, or whatever, an’ I am gonna squash’em on my face an’
let ‘em run off my chin.”
 “I’ve been thinkin’. I been to the hills, thinkin’ almost you might
say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think his way out of a
mess f troubles… Got tired. His sperit got all wore out…. I ain’t
sayin’ I’m lie Jesus. But I got tired like him.”
Chapter 6: Character Analysis
Tom Joan
Jim Casy
The Tractor
Reasons with
two areas of
Reasons with
two areas of
Reasons with
two areas of
Reasons with
two areas of
*What do the similarities and differences among
these characters teach us about their society?
Discussion Group Topic:
 The Grapes of Wrath is narrated in a “limitedomniscient” third-person voice. This narrator recounts
the points of view and experiences of many characters,
sometimes far removed from the Joan family. The
narrator is “limited” because, in spite of this
omniscience, the interior lives of the characters—their
silent thoughts and perceptions—are not always revealed
to the reader.
 Steinbeck’s narration alternates between the specific story
of the Joan family and the larger story of all the Dust Bowl
migrants. He accomplishes the latter through interchapters
that he called “generals.” Why would Steinbeck do this?
 Is the alternation consistent, or are there deviations? How
does his focus on the migrants (for example, in Chapter 9)
contribute to the point of view of the book?
*Answer on one sheet per group.
*Develop Answers with strong reasoning and evidence.
Journal #1: Changing Perspectives
 Choose one character who has appeared
so far: Tom, Casy, Ma,Pa, Uncle John,
Grampa, Granma. Retell the story of an
event from chapters 9-11 from this
character’s perspective. Be sure to
include their feelings about their
circumstances and the move to California.
 Consider the following conflicts or focus points as you
tell the story:
 Masculinity vs. femininity
 Identity/ The land
 Modernization vs. technology
 Wealth vs. Poverty
 Power vs. powerlessness
Group share/ Journal Reflection
 Share stories with your group
 Think about how a story can be told
from multiple perspectives. What
might Steinbeck be trying to tell us by
writing about a whole family and a
whole community at the same time?
Chapter 7-11: First Impression
Character Analysis
Al, Noah or
Rose of
Uncle John
with two
areas of
with two
areas of
with two
areas of
with two
areas of
with two
areas of
*What do the similarities and differences among these
characters teach us about their society? What does Steinbeck
want us to learn based on these characters?
Antagonist Analysis
 Answer in a well-written expository paragraph
with layered analysis and support from the novel:
 Who is the antagonist in The Grapes of Wrath? Is it the
men who drive the tractors? Is it the bank officials who
own the land? Or is the antagonist not a person at all,
but the “monster” hounding the farmers from Oklahoma
all the way to California? Are the protagonist and the
antagonist in this novel in a fair fight? Can the Joads
win, or are the odds stacked against them?
Ch. 11-14 Group quiz
Chapters 1-11 focus on man’s relationship with the land culminating with very
detailed imagery of the homestead and the land in chapter 11. Summarize with
evidence what you believe is the larger purpose of chapter 11.
First with the intercalary description of what it was like to be on the journey
and next with the early impact of the trip on the Joan Family, chapter 12 begins the
journey West. Describe with evidence from the text what this journey was for
people. What kinds of things do they encounter and endure along the way. What
lessons are intended for the reader in this description?
Describe the interactions between the gas station attendant and Jim Casy
and Tom Joan. What insinuations does the gas station attendant make? How, in the
end is he similar to the Joads? Explain.
In particular look at the “folks is moving around conversation on pp. 127- 128
For added depth, compare this discussion to the conversation with the coffee shop
Who died in these chapters? How did these deaths impact the Joads? Were
they impacted in ways you expected? What do these deaths signify? Explain with
Describe the relationship between the Joads and the Wilsons. What does
their situation and actions toward each other suggest about them?
Choose two characters that interest you from chapter 11-14. Discuss what is
interesting to you about them and what you wonder.
Chapters 14-18 Partner Journal
 Consider one of your group focus
points. Decide on two events from
last night’s reading that struck you
as important, interesting, or
relevant to what you or your group
is examining in this book.
 Explore the point with careful evidence
and illustration.
 Feel free to examine a quotation that
struck you or to continue a discussion
about a theme your group has already
 We will be sharing these with one
person in the group and writing back to
them so please write clearly so another
person can understand.
Potential Focus Points:
• Masculinity vs. femininity
• Identity/ The land
• Modernization vs.
• Wealth vs. Poverty
• Power vs. powerlessness
Partner Journal 14-18 Exchange Process
1. Exchange your journal with one person at your
2. Read the Journal Entry.
3. Respond to their thoughts ideas, comments and
concerns in a page of your own writing. If you
finish before the time is up, write about anything
else on your mind in regard to the book and your
group’s focus points.
4. Read your partner’s response. Verbally comment
on anything you think or you may have left out.
5. Sign your names to your pages and staple them
6. Turn them in.
Chapters 19- 21: Character
 Return to your original Joad character from the
homework where you retold the story of an early
event in the book.
How has your character changed? If your
character has died, consider the ways that the
death has affected other members of the Joad
If you are more interested in a different
character or did not do the previous
assignment, then compare a character’s
outlook from the beginning of the book to now.
Chapters 19-21: Character
Journal #2
 For this assignment, you will once again
become a member of the Joad family or
one of the people traveling with them.
 Retell the events of chapters 19-21
through the eyes of a character. Be
sure to highlight what you think is
important to the character and what
lessons of themes Steinbeck may hinting
at through this character.
 You have ten minutes to write and should
write at least a page.
Group Think & Share
For the next seven minutes, share with
your group what you thought was most
important from chapters 19-21.
 Clarify anything that people may be
confused about or misunderstand from
the novel.
Write down any questions, comments or
concerns that you think the class needs
to discuss or clarify on the post its and
place them on the back board.
Which members of the Joad
family undergo a change in
the course of the novel?
1. Each Table gets a different family member.
2. For that family member find examples where the
character has changed by the time he or she
reaches California.
 What causes this change?
 Does any character fail to evolve? If so, why?
Are the Joads responsible for what happens to
3. The person with the closest birthday to today
reports the group’s findings to the class

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