The Grapes of Wrath

Chapter 29

During the Great Depression everyone thought the Dust Bowl was the worst climactic phenomenon that would be thrown at them.  However, they were wrong.  Rain, plain, old, boring rain, made things much more difficult for the suffering Americans.  Rain flooded tents leaving you with no shelter, and shorted out ignitions and carburetors leaving you with no transportation.  People had to carry the very young and the very old to high ground to a barn or shelter of some sort so they would not become ill.  Americans also flooded the relief offices during a downpour.  Unfortunately, they were sent home empty handed.

In the great depression sickness ran rampant throughout the nation.  With people living in such unsanitary conditions the young children and the elderly were at the greatest risk of catching an illness.  Some of the most commonly caught sicknesses were pneumonia and measles that spread to the eyes and mastoids.  Unfortunately, people could not be treated for anything because they did not have the money to see a doctor.  

Unfortunately, people did not even have money for basic needs during the Great Depression.  Hunger breeds two personalities types. It breeds a person with too much pride to seek help, or it breeds a theif.  Some families worked themselves into the ground and would not ask for a bit of help.  Then you had the families who were cunning enough to steal what they needed.  Can you blame them? They were trying to take care of their family.  However, they were most likely stealing from people who had nothing to spare.

A reoccurring theme in the Grapes of Wrath is desperation. But, in chapter twenty-nine we see that that desperation can be turned in wrath. "The women watched the men, watched to see whether the break had come at last. The women stood silently and watched. And where a number of men gathered together, the fear went fem their faces, and anger took its place. And the women sighed with relief, for they knew it was all right- the break had not come; and the break would never come as long as fear could turn into wrath," (Steinbeck, 434) This passage is a testament to the strength that the people had to have during the 30s.

In the novel Grapes of Wrath we see the reoccurrence of the Joads getting work and then being runoff. With the dust and rain running rampant we see a lot of frustration with crop production. However, at the end of chapter twenty-nine we see that things might start to look up. There had just been a hard rain and grass was starting to grow. "Tiny points of grass came through the earth, and in a few days the hills were pale green with the beginning year," (Steinbeck, 435).

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