The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

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  • The little farmers watched as their debt creeped up like spiders.  They sprayed their trees and sold nothing. They pruned and grafted their trees and could not pick the produce. All they had was the decaying mush in the wine vats. 
  • The debt choked the farmers and soon the bank owned the farms. Only the big owners are able to survive because they have canneries and canned fruit lasts for years. 
  • In order to keep up the price of goods, all the goods were to be destroyed. Carloads of oranges were dumped on the ground and kerosene was poured on them so no one could eat them. Potatoes were thrown off ships and guards were placed on the riverbanks so no one could swim and get them.
  • Children died of pellagra. No food because no orange can be taken without a profit. Coroners must fill in the certificate with the words "died from malnutrition". The food must rot rather than going to people for free.
  • My baby!
  • People come back with nets for the potatoes but the guards hold them back. They come back in rattling cars to get the oranges but the kerosene is sprayed. In the eyes of the hungry people, wrath is growing.
  • "In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage" (Steinbeck, 449).
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