Chapter 2 Notes from Grapes of Wrath

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Grapes of Wrath Chapter 2

In a little roadside restaurant, a truck driver chats with a waitress. Outside, a man walks toward the restaurant from the highway. He looks at a No Riders sticker on the window of the truck parked in front of the restaurant and then sits down on the running board of the truck. He is a young man, under thirty, with brown hair and brown eyes. His face is creased and his hands are calloused. "His upper lip was long, and since his teeth protruded, the lip stretched to cover them, for this man kept his lips closed." Chapter 2, pg. 7 His clothes are new, cheap, and ill-fitting.

The driver in the restaurant pays his bill and puts his change in the slot machine but losses. "They fix'em so you can't win nothing," Chapter 2, pg. 8 he says to the waitress. She says that another guy took the jackpot that day. The jackpot was $3.80. The driver leaves, and as he approaches the truck, the hitchhiker asks for a lift. The driver asks him if he saw the No Riders sticker, and he replies, "Sure - I seen it. But sometimes a guy'll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker." Chapter 2, pg. 9 The driver lets him in and examines him closely as they drive off.

Topic Tracking: Humanity 1

The driver comments on his passenger's shoes and questions him about his job and his destination. The hitchhiker is heading for his family's farm. The driver warns him that most farmers in the area have been driven off their land by big business and bad weather. The driver notices his passenger's calloused hands and says he must be used to hard labor. The hitchhiker is annoyed by the drivers prying and lets him know it. The driver defensively says that he is proud of all the things he can deduce just by looking at a person. The hitchhiker says that he doesn't have anything to hide and that his name is Tom Joad. The driver tries to make small talk, but can't help talking about his talent for pinning people. Tom jeers at the driver's nosiness. Tom says the driver knows where he has just come from - jail. Tom says he isn't hiding it. "You been a good guy. But look, when you been in stir a little while, you can smell a question comin' from hell to breakfast. You telegraphed you're the first time you opened your trap." Chapter 2, pg. 16 The driver is embarrassed. Tom tells the driver to stop and, as he gets out, he tells him teasingly that he was in jail for homicide. They part good-naturedly.

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