Grapes of Wrath, Chapters 1-11: 5 out of 8 questions.
What does the setting of the opening scene suggest about the rest of the novel? What does it suggest about family structure? .
The opening scene suggests that the Dust Bowl would have a major impact on the lives of the farmers and their families. The first few paragraphs go into profound detail about the movements and formations of the weather which lead to the Dust Bowl, "The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth became pale." (Steinbeck, 1) These weather changes eventually affect the lives of the characters whom the reader is introduced in the latter. The opening scene also illustrated the structure of families, where the "women [stood] beside their men and the children [played]" (Steinbeck, 6-7). The families were all similarly structured; Men made decisions, women watched the children and did as they were told. .
2.Animals play an important symbolic role throughout this novel. What important qualities does the land turtle have as described in Chapter 3? .
The land turtle described in chapter three shows intense determination to get to his destination. He climbs over walls too high, "[pushing himself] higher and higher until at last [his] front tipped down, [and with his] front legs [scratching] at the pavement [he got] up" (Steinbeck, 21), and risks getting killed while crossing the road. When hit by the truck, it "flipped the turtle like a tiddly-wink, spun it like a coin, and rolled it off the highway". (Steinbeck, 22) And yet the turtle fought, his determination not pushed over as he physically was. Eventually the turtle flipped himself over and whent on his way. There is symbolism in this small tale, however, for when the turtle first tried climbing over the wall, a wild oat got stuck in his shell, and after being hit by the truck and flipping himself over, "the wild oat head fell out and three of the spearhead seeds stuck in the ground" (Steinbeck, 22) .