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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

THE NOVEL THE CHARACTERS
  • GRANMA JOAD

    Grampa had to have a wife like Granma. She has the same vocabulary, the same spunk, and the same madcap ways as her husband. She needs him to fight with, just as he needs her.

    Granma has one unique quality, however. She's ferociously religious. "Pu-raise Gawd fur vittory," she yells when Tom rejoins the family. Granma has gone to prayer meetings where she wailed and moaned for God and Jesus, damned the devil, and shed her sins. She's thrilled to have Casy in her family, even though he professes to have given up preaching. She forces him to say grace at mealtime and to say a prayer over Grampa's grave.

    After Grampa dies, she takes ill, never to recover. She dies on the truck while crossing the Mojave Desert, and is buried in California.

    Just as Grampa had to die when he left the land, Granma had to die without Grampa. They were two bodies with a single soul. Granma's death also completes the Joads' separation from their old lives.


  • MULEY GRAVES

    When the Oklahoma sharecroppers are evicted from their farms, Muley, the stubborn one, refuses to budge. He's bound to the land where he was born. He'd rather wander the countryside alone, like an "ol' graveyard ghos'" than join the throngs going west.

    Muley inspires Grampa Joad's rebellion. Grampa claims that if Muley can stay behind and live off the land, so can he.

    One of Muley's casual remarks over a campfire starts Casy thinking about the need for people to share and to work together. Muley doesn't know it, of course, but what he said changes Casy's life, and ultimately the lives of Tom, Ma, and countless others.

 

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