Chapter 10 Notes from Grapes of Wrath

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Grapes of Wrath Chapter 10

After Al leaves with a truckload of farm implements and household items to sell in town, Tom wanders around the farm and then sits down in the doorway to the kitchen. From the kitchen, Ma talks with Tom about her doubts that California will be as great as the ads make it out to be. He tells her not to get her hopes up too high and she will not be disappointed. He tells her he learned to take things day by day in jail. Ma says she likes to think about how nice California will be. Tom tells her he knew a person from California who said there was not enough work, wages were low, and living conditions were bad. Ma does not believe it.

Grampa wakes up and Ma helps him button up his pants. He swears and sputters and starts talking about the grapes he is going to eat in California again. Casy comes in and asks if he can travel with the Joads. He says he is not going to preach but to work and live alongside the people because that is what is holy. Ma says the men will decide.

Later that day,Pa and the rest of the family return in the truck. Ruthie is a demure pre-teen. Winfield is a wild little boy. Rose of Sharon is careful and wise in her consciousness of her pregnant state. Connie is a proud husband and a responsible man. Uncle John is a lonely, self-controlling man. All of them are glum. Al worries over the irregularities of the truck. They are all tired. Pa and Uncle John are angry and sad because they had gotten only eighteen dollars for all of their possessions. Pa is also worried because he heard that Tom might not be able to go with them because of the rules of his parole.

When they arrive the family government convenes. "They met at the most important place, near the truck...this was the new hearth, the living center of the family." Chapter 10, pg. 127 Casy remains at the back of the house. Pa tells how much money they got that day. Al explains why he chose the truck, and Pa and Tom compliment him on his choice. Al is very pleased. Tom then opens the topic of whether to take the preacher or not. Grampa approves. Pa is worried that they may not have enough room or food for Casy. Ma says, "It ain't kin we? It's will we... As far as 'kin.' We can't do nothin', not go to California or nothin'; but as far as "will,' why, we'll do what we will." Chapter 10, pg. 130 Ma adds that no Joad has ever turned down a man in need before. They decide to take him, and invite him to join the council. Then they discuss the subject of when to leave. All they have to do is slaughter and salt two pigs and pack their things before they can leave. They decide to salt the pigs that night.

Topic Tracking: Humanity 3

After dinner the killing begins. The pigs' throats are slit in their pen and their carcasses are hung on the rafters of the house to be bled. Then the men pour boiling water over carcasses before gutting them. Normally the bodies would chill overnight, but the Joads decide to leave early the next morning and so salting begins immediately. Noah cut up the meat and Ma piled it in kegs with salt. The rest of the family begins the task of packing the truck. Casy relieves Ma of salting, despite her protest that it is women's work, so she can help pack. She tells Tom what to take from the kitchen, and then goes into her stripped bedroom to sort through her personal mementos. She selected the items of monetary value from the lot and burnt the rest of the items including a newspaper clipping of Tom's trial.

As they are leaving, Muley Graves arrives and asks them to tell his family he is all right if they meet them in California. They invite him to accompany them, but he says he would not feel right leaving. Then Grampa says he is not going either. "This here is my country. I b'long here. An' I don't give a goddamn if they's oranges an' grapes crowdin' a fella outa bed even. I ain't a-goin." Chapter 10, pg. 142 The family tries to reason with him but eventually decide to give him a sleeping draught in his coffee so they can drive away with him without him hurting himself. They load Grampa on the truck and leave two of their dogs and some chickens for Muley. As they started slowly down the road Ma did not look back but looked straight ahead.

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