The Grapes of Wrath Analytical Paper.
The structure of The Grapes of Wrath is very unconventional. Steinbeck alternates action chapters with what are called intercalary chapters. These chapters do not contain any action associated with the characters, but with something that relates to all people that would be in the same situation, such as the depression or the dustbowl. Many readers believe that these chapters are a nuisance and not related to the book at all, or there are two separate books that are loosely related. This is just not true. These chapters, laid carefully by Steinbeck, give the reader a personal insight to what life was like during the journey of the Joad family. In chapter 21, he refers to the migration as " the people moved like ants and searched for work, for food." In this intercalary chapter, he relates the movement of the Joads to ants. Steinbeck intermits every other chapter as an intercalary chapter to give the reader a break from the action of the book, but more importantly does !.
so to give the reader a deeper sense of why and how the characters accomplish their goals. If the book just started out with "A huge red transport truck stood in front of the little roadside restaurant.", and went from there, the reader would have no idea of how or why he was where he was and the characters acted the way they did. Instead, Steinbeck starts with an intercalary chapter reading: "To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth." By starting with some background information and giving the reader a glimpse of how it was during the depression in the Midwest, Steinbeck makes the book more understandable. The use of the intercalary chapters strengthens the book because anyone fifty million years from now can pick up the text and have a good general understanding of the travels and actions of the Joads.