In his article "Dust Bowl Blues", Peter Monro Jack says that The Grapes of Wrath is written in "superb style, one marvelous short story after another, and all melting into this long novel of the great trek." The reader strongly agrees with Jack's comment. The use of interchapters greatly adds to the understanding of the background of the novel. This technique provides a broader picture of what is happening to these migrant farmers as they give up their lives to move west. In addition, John Steinbeck would not have gotten his message across in the novel.
The first chapter sketches the setting before actually introducing the characters. The setting actually describes the characters and their personalities. It provides the fundamental background circumstances that are needed to understand why the families are to move west. It expressively describes the dust storms, which are what causes the moves. Also, the first chapter foreshadows what is to happen through the novel. Without this chapter, the book would not have been established the way it was. The reader would have only be given a limited view on what life was like for the migrants.
Another interchapter, Chapter 3, describes the turtle's journey across the road. This chapter is a symbolic chapter, providing insight into Steinbeck's views on nature and man. It represents survival, and the turtle's planting of the seed represents rebirth. This chapter is important to the development of the novel because it is foreshadowing what will occur in the novel. Although the family will have to undergo extreme hardships, they will overcome and survive. The determination of the turtle foreshadows the determination of the Joad family. .
In chapter 7, the reader is introduced to the Used Car lot and the cheating salesman. The .
farmers are cheated out of their hard-earned money by paying too much for unreliable cars. In chapter 8, the reader meets Uncle John's beat up car, and associates this with the Used Car dealer and the confusion of the farmers.