A man gets out of prison for a murder which was in self defense. He returns to his sharecropper parents in Oklahoma. They have been kicked off their land. They need to go to California for work. The journey is one through the abuse of the poor in America prior to labor laws. The mother of... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
A man gets out of prison for a murder which was in self defense. He returns to his sharecropper parents in Oklahoma. They have been kicked off their land. They need to go to California for work. The journey is one through the abuse of the poor in America prior to labor laws. The mother of the man shows amazing fortitude and has a great soliloquy at the end regarding the sexes.
“66 is the mother road, the road of flight”Author
“From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads”Author
“Men who can graft the trees and make the seed fertile and big can find no way to let the hungry people eat their produce”Author
“Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten”Author
“The last clear definite function of man--muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need--this is man. to build a wall, to build a house, a dam, and in the wall and house and dam to put something of Manself, and to Manself take back something of the wall, the house, the dam; to take hard muscles from the lifting, to take the clear lines and form from conceiving. For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”Author
“Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live--for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strokes stop while the great owners live--for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know--fear the time when Manself will not suffer an ddie for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”Author
“Sure I got sins. Ever'body got sins. A sin is somepin you ain't sure about.”
“There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain't nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.”
“I got thinkin’ how we was holy when we was one thing, an’ mankin’ was holy when it was one thing. An’ it on’y got unholy when one mis’able little fella got the bit in his teeth an’ run off his own way, kickin’ an’ draggin’ an’ fightin’. Fella like that bust the holi-ness. But when they’re all workin’ together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang—that’s right, that’s holy.”In Chapter 8, after Tom and Jim Casy arrive at Uncle John’s farm, the family convinces the ex-preacher to say grace over their breakfast. Casy hesitates, but eventually offers these words.
““We’re Joads. We don’t look up to nobody. Grampa’s grampa, he fit in the Revolution. We was farm people till the debt. And then—them people. They done somepin to us. Ever’ time they come seemed like they was a-whippin’ me—all of us. An’ in Needles, that police. He done somepin to me, made me feel mean. Made me feel ashamed. An’ now I ain’t ashamed. These folks is our folks—is our folks. An’ that manager, he come an’ set an’ drank coffee, an’ he says, ‘Mrs. Joad’ this, an’ ‘Mrs. Joad’ that—an’ ‘How you getting’ on, Mrs. Joad?’” She stopped and sighed. “Why, I feel like people again.””After the Joads arrive in the Weedpatch government camp in Chapter 22, Ma discusses the effects of life on the road.
“Once California belonged to Mexico and its land to Mexicans; and a horde of tattered feverish Americans poured in. And such was their hunger for land that they took the land—stole Sutter’s land, Guerrero’s land, took the grants and broke them up and growled and quarreled over them, those frantic hungry men; and they guarded with guns the land they had stolen. ... The Mexicans were weak and fed. They could not resist, because they wanted nothing in the world as frantically as the Americans wanted land. Then, with time, the squatters were no longer squatters, but owners; and their children grew up and had children on the land. And the hunger was gone from them, the feral hunger, the gnawing, tearing hunger for land, for water and earth and the good sky over it, for the green thrusting grass, for the swelling roots. They had these things so completely that they did not know about them any more.”Chapter 19
“The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.”
“They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. <referring to the banks>”
In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.Highlighted by 426 Kindle customers
Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole.Highlighted by 373 Kindle customers
And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.Highlighted by 349 Kindle customers
The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.Highlighted by 317 Kindle customers
How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it.Highlighted by 302 Kindle customers
when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.Highlighted by 297 Kindle customers
If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin,3 were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I,” and cuts you off forever from the “we.”Highlighted by 274 Kindle customers
“I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered, ‘Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,’ I figgered, ‘maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit—the human sperit—the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’ Now I sat there thinkin’ it, an’ all of a suddent—I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”Highlighted by 273 Kindle customers
Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.Highlighted by 243 Kindle customers
There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do. It’s all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but that’s as far as any man got a right to say.’ ”Highlighted by 225 Kindle customers
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