Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chapter 26


Chapter 26

by: Lauren, Frank, Devon



Summarizing the Characters

by: Lauren



The characters in chapter 26, are for the most part predicable. However, there are a few surprises though-out this chapter. It starts with The Joad family just trying to make it by. Ma Joad quickly takes the roll of leader, as we have seen many times before. Ma Joad is pretty much the glue that keeps this family together. She is more than happy to be the leader of the family sense no one else

is stepping up to the plate. We are introduced to the owner of the peach farm. That offers them a job picking peaches. They quickly learn that the man wearing a heavy suit and jewelry was just as he seemed a scam and liar. Later in the chapter, Al goes off looking for girls. This is nothing new for the character of Al. Even in such hard times he is able to still act his teenage age and chase girls. We see Tom’s curious side. He starts to explore more into the trouble on the roadside. When tom gets an idea he has to finish it. That’s why it is no surprise that even after the guards turn Tom away he still finds a way in. We are introduced again to Jim Casy. He is now the workers’ leader. The police referred to him as a communist, although he is really more of a revolutionary. Casy in this chapter is killed fighting for a cause he believes in. This fits Casy’s character perfectly. Tom of course gets angry, which is a character attribute that is far too familiar for Tom. When his family sees him hurt, Ma Joad once again displaces her leader personality and forces him to stay out of the view of the public.



Analyzing and Critical Thinking

by: Frank

The three main themes that I have seen in this chapter are the overall themes that I have seen in the book - sacrifice, scams, and family. But these familiar themes have all gained strength and value as the book unfolds. There were some major sacrifices made in this chapter. We see that although the Joads have sought out nice shelter inside the government camp - opposed to how they were living before their arrival - they came to the realization that there was really no work in that area, so they made the decision to leave. We also see that when they do come across work in the north picking peaches, Tom finds himself (potentially) in trouble and on the run for killing a cop, so the family must once again pick up and move onward; hoping to find another job along the way. The scams and cut-throatting themes continued throughout this chapter as well, except we see this going on in a different light; we also see how the people get their repercussions (later on in chapter 27) in the cotton fields. Although we saw this aspect really commence when Tom met Timothy and Wilkie Wallace back in chapter 22, we really saw this theme unfold in chapter 26 when the Joads arrived at the Hooper Ranch (the peach farm). There was a rally in front of the ranch when they got there, but they never knew why - until Tom wandered off to find his friend, Jim Casy. Tom was informed that the ranch was luring people in for one rate of pay, then slashing that rate in half once the people were settled and working. We also see how the same company owned the little general store that Ma Joad shopped in during their short stay at the ranch, and how the store had jacked their prices up from what they should be, simply because they knew that they could charge extra for the convenience of not having to go into town and shop for basic necessities. It seems that no matter what hardships, trials, or tribulations arise that add to the family's turmoil and suffering - even on the verge of personal breakdown - the Joads always have stuck together. For example, Rose of Sharon has let that bible-thumper of a woman completely psych her out, and when she lashes out at the family using things that the woman said to her, no would turn on her. The kids Ruthie and Winfield have been good sports as well; even Al in his selfish tone and cocky swagger would not abandon his family. Although Tom is now in hiding; in trouble with the law - something that he promised Ma would not happen again - everyone is still pulling for him. Even though I strongly feel that if it was not for Ma Joad playing the role of the backbone, that everyone would have fallen apart. I am also toying with the idea that my previous thought is irrelevant due to the fact that - put simply - they are still together; still striving as a whole.

Chapter 26:



Here in chapter 26, which I have named ”The Move,” we are met with one of the Joads' biggest challenges yet. Through the book we have read the accounts of the Joad family across the country. Here in this chapter we are faced with yet another move – from the government run camp. This move I feel has been the hardest for the Joads, they knew that for the good of the family they had to do so.

Again in the chapter we are reading many of the same problems that has plagued the family, lack of money, lack of food, lack of work, ect. But we are met with a new challenge – not wanting to leave the comforts of the government camp.

We are privileged to a bonding moment in the chapter between Ma and Rose of Sharon, the scene in which Ma pierces her ears. Through the book we witness the kindness and the strength of Ma Joad, but here we see the first act of motherhood toward Rose of Sharon and Ma. Yet again we see the fear of living in a Hooverville. This fear will remain with the families during this time for many years.

We see later in this chapter how many people suffered, and had to, because there was no other work. The Joads are introduced to peach picking and the hardships which come along with the task. I feel that in this chapter, more than any other we see the struggles made by the large farmers and the farming association. How the migrant people were treated in the real world, here we are simply granted a look into the times of one family, the Joads.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tiffany and HollyAnne: The Bonus Army

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Lauren and David: FDR

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chapter 22 by Ritu and Andi

Summary: The Joads find a camp called Weedpatch and they decide to stay there. Tom finds a job through the help of nice people there at the camp. Ma meets the manager of the camp who is very gently with her and she says she feels like people again by the way people are treating them at the camp. Other men also try to find a job but end up having no luck in that. Ma also gets invovled with the ladies committee where there are rules and regulations to be follow in order to be pure and not sinful.

Themes: Hope, togetherness, and unemployment.

Questions: Why does the camp manager makes ma feel " like people again"?
                   why are the camp people so nice? why do they have rules and things like committee? what does this show about the people there?

Contrast: How the cop treats Ma in chapter 18 vs. how the manager of the camp treates Ma. The cop was so mean to her and treated her like an animal where as the manager makes her feel like a person again, someone who needs to be respected.

Compare: Ma is keeping the family together in this chapter and so far we have read about her being strong and gets people moving and wants everyone to be together.

Comparison with the world: There is class system where rich people look down upon the middle class/poor and even today rich people live their lives away from poor or middle class, they only socialize with the rich and have no connection with the poor.

Important passages: " We're Joads. We don't look up to nobody...We was farm people till the debt. And then - them people. They done sompin' to us. Ever' time they come seemed like they was a-whippin' me - all of us...Made me feel ashamed. An' now I ain't ashamed. These folks is our folks ...................why I feel like people again."

" I think the manager took her away to drop the baby. He don' believe in sin. Tol' me hisself. says the sin is being hungry. says the sin is bein cold. says I tell ya, he tol' ,e hisself-can't see God in them things,"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chapters 24 and 25 Margaret and Chris

Summary:
     The beginning of the chapter starts with a few chairmen of different committees, Ezra Houston of the central committee, and Willie Eaton of the entertainment committee, and other members of the camp talking about how some intruders are planning on causing a riot at the dance that evening and what they are trying to do to prevent it. The guys planning on starting the riot are a threat to the camp because if a riot breaks out, the cops can intervene and say that the camp is not in control, which gives them a right to shut it down. The chairmen have designated groups to check the people coming in and to be on the dance floor to prevent riots from happening. Meanwhile, the Joad family has just finished eating dinner and is getting ready for the dance. Ma checks over Ruthie and Winfield and sends them to the sanitary unit one more time to clean up, then they both procede to go watch the band with the rest of the children. Al adjusts his suit and finishes getting ready, then walks to where the dance is being held. On his way there he see's a pretty blonde girl and tries to get her to go with him by telling her that he can waltz. The girl's fat mother tells him to keep moving along because the girl is about to get married, and someone is coming to take her to the dance. Back at the tent, Tom tells Rose of Sharon how pretty she is looking lately, and how soon enough she will need a wheel barrow to get around because her belly is getting so big. Rose of Sharon worries about the dance and does not want to dance so Ma tells her that she will say she is sickly and not able to dance. At the dance the Jesus lovers are staying back and watching for sinning instead of having a good time like everyone else. Tom is on one of the committees to look out for the trouble makers. He is guarding the gate, looking over the people coming in with Jule Vitela. Jule sees three guys who look suspicious and tells Tom to follow them. Tom follows them to the dance and tells Willie about them. Willie discovers that the three guys were not invited and says to keep an eye on them. Not shortly after, the three guys start causing problems. The guys appointed by the committees to keep the dance safe usher them out of the camp. A cop car pulls out and the cop says that there's a riot and the police need to come in. The gate keepers won't let them in because there is not a riot, and the music can be clearly heard so nothing bad is happening. Back at the office, Pa and others talk about how change is coming and how they must protect themselves.
     Chapter twenty-five is about how beautiful the California fruit looks at first, but then how it rots. It talks about how farmers spent so much time trying to make a good harvest, but then because poor conditions they do not have that good of a harvest. Prices drop on everything so you can't making a living selling your produce for such a low cost. Farms are shutting down and the crops are left to rot. To prevent people from stealing the crops they put kerosene on it, in a way of saying "if I can't have it, no one will." The farmers are greedy and because they won't allow anyone to have the crops that they aren't going to use, children are dying of starvation and malnutrition. The wine that comes from the grapes doesn't even taste like wine, it tastes like chemicals and alchohol because so many chemicals had to be used on the plants.

Three main themes:
the importance of entertainment during tough times
competition for work
bad harvests

Two questions:
Who do you think sent the trouble makers to the camp to start a riot?
Why do you think the cops did not enter the camp anyways when the gate keepers told them weren't allowed in without a warrant?

Two important passages:
"They'll git hungry men. You can't feed your fam'ly on twenty cents an hour, but you'll take anything. They fot you goin' an' comin'. They jes' auction a job off. Jesus Christ, pretty soon they're gonna make us pay to work."
"The decay spreads over the Statek, and the sweet smell is a great sorrow on the land. MEn who can graft the trees and make the seed fertile and big can find no way to let the hungry people eat their produce. Men who have created new fruits in the world have created a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the state like a great sorrow."

Compare and Contrast:
One theme that can be compared to the world today is the competition for work. Our unemployment numbers are high today, not as high as they were during the novel, but still very high. It is very hard to find a job and people are competing for even minimum wage jobs. Because of minimum wage, the workers are protected because they have to get paid a minimum amount for their work, so there won't be a competition among workers for who can work for the lowest amount because the lowest amount is set.
Chapter twenty-four is different from others in the book because it is one of the only times when you see the family actually having fun. It was tough times, and the Joad family was so poor that they did not have enough money to go out and have fun. The government camp provided a dance, kind of as a way to forget about all the hardships and enjoy everyone's company.

Chapter 22 Abby and Paul

There are quite a few characters in this chapter like: Tom, Ma Joad, Mr. Thomas, Timothy, Wilkie, Jim Rawley, Mrs. Sandry, Rose of Sharon, Pa Joad, Al, and Uncle John.

In this chapter the Joads came across the Weedpatch camp where migrants basically govern themselves. It was nicely kept and avoided as much corruption as possible. Tom meets Timothy and Wilkie Wallace who take him to the ranch they have been working on to try to get him a job. Mr. Thomas explains the Farmers' Associate. They were planning to send investigators on Saturday to spy on suspected communists. Ma Joad is visited by Jim Rawley who makes her feel welcomed and almost human-like again. A religious women, Mrs. Sandry warns Rose of Sharon about the sins that go on. Pa, Al, and Uncle John return without jobs but Tom is now employed giving some hope to the family.

The themes in this chapter were the heartache and disappointment that searching for jobs can have on a family, which didn't really change much with today's times. Luckily we have better opportunities now then they did. Another theme is being welcomed with advice and care. Ma Joad was welcomed by Jim which turned her outlook around a little. Also Rose of Sharon was given advice by Mrs. Sandry about the sins going on. The last theme I really picked up on was the hardships of not being paid what you deserved. They got screwed really when it came to pay, they had to take what they could get and deal with it or have no job. Luckily, we have minimum wage now so we are legally obligated to get at least that.

Questions:
-How would life have been different if they had a required minimum wage like today?

-Imagine of you were a character in this novel, how would your outlook on life change?

Chapter 22 Nicole and Clay

In chapter 22 their are many different charters. Joad,Tom, Timothy, Wilkie Wallace, Ma, Jim Rawley, Mrs. Sandry, Rose, Sharon, Pa, Al and Uncle Tom.

What happening in 22 is Joads's group went looking for jobs. They found on but they went able to get paid to much, 25 cents a day is all they can give. The owner would like to give more but the police were camping out and arresting labor organizers and evicting the migrants. That is all he could give. Jim went to go see Ma and made her feel like a person again since all this. Pa, Al and Uncle John did not find jobs that day. Joads group ended up taking the jobs "we was farm people till the debt and then-them people. they done somepin to us." talking about how there life was before the depression and after thins passage talk about the life after a little. "the camp had begun to come to life. at the new fires the women worked, slicing meat,kneading the dough for the morning's bread and the men were stirring about the tents and about the automobiles. The sky was rosy now. in front of the office a lean old man rake the ground carefully. he so dragged his rake that the tine marks were straight and deep" this passage show how there life was going back to the way that it should. little by little they work to make it the same.

The themes in this chapter is searching for jobs, something that we can relate to in our time as well. Jobs then with the economy were hard to find, with owners not being able to pay people for their work and big busniesses going under. Another theme is kindness. With the kindness that Jim gave to Ma it made her feel different about herself. Kindness as it is like a lost thing with our time.

Does cruelty to humanity have its limits? (why do humans feel like they have to demonize and oppress each other in hard times.)
Why do you think that the police are trying to move the people back?

Chapter 23-24. Kyle and Noah

Summary-  Chapter 23 is another chapter that gives us a look at the way of life during 1930's. It tells about a regiment of troops having to kill an indian and not wanting to, it also describes what a camp could be like and how everyone comes together through different things, such as their music and dances. Chapter 24 is on the night of the big dance in the Joad's camp, and how the men plan to stop a riot that they heard people are going to try and start. We are introduced to a couple of characters Ezra Huston, Willie Eaton, and Jule. They play a key part in stopping the riot before it ever starts.

Critical thinking - Themes we found important would be Rose of Sharons pregnancy, sense of security,  and duty. Question 1- Why does 23 describe the music being played and how it is played so much?
Question 2- In chapter 24 why do the cops want a riot to breakout at the dance, and why did the man Tom gets a job working for feel the need to warn them about the riot?

Compare & Contrast- Comparing the situation in the book where the Oakies are migrating to California for work is somewhat like our problem with illegal immigrants now. While the oakies are citizens of the U.S., the people of California saw them as natives to their state and didn't want to accept them. Illegal immigrants aren't citizens of our nation, and a lot of times they are treated like the oakies where, we bid work to them for way cheaper than we could to a citizen of the U.S. and they are willing to do it because they are desperate and just want to provide for their families.

Contrast- In chapter 21 the California locals form armed bands to terrorize the okies and put them in their place, but in 24 when they are trying to start a riot during the dance the okies didn't form a group and beat them, they treated them with respect. The okies showed the Californians that they aren't just animals like they have been treating them, but that they are human beings and they are understanding.

Chapters 24 & 25

In chapter 24, we are introduced to Ezra Huston, the chairman, and Wille Eaton who is chairman of entertainment.  The two begin to discuss the rumors of a fight breaking out at the dance, and Ezra drills Willie on what he has done to prevent the fight. That would be adding twent more members to the committee and, "They're a-gonna be dancin' an' a-keepin' their eyes open an their ears open. First sign-any talk of argament, they close in tight."

We are also allowed into the dance itself. The reader is shown the camp division between the strict Christians who do not allow dancing and those who are just out to have a good time in spite of the uncertainty and chaos that is their world. It's the night of the fight that we are introduced to Jule Vitela who is half Cherokee. When Tom says, "They says you're half Injun. You look all Injun to me." we learn that Jule wish that was the case because he would have place to live.

In Chapter 24, the biggest themes would have to be keeping peace, taking time to enjoy yourself, and as we have seen in the past, that people will do anything to put a little food on the table. (The tractor driver from Chapter 5 and the three men starting the fight in this chapter.) An important passage for this chapter would have to be, "O.K. Don't tell. But looka here. Don't knife your own folks. We're tryin' to get along, havin' fun an' keepin' order. Don't tear all that down. Jes' think about it. You're jes' harmin' yourself."

Another important goes back first to Tom and Casy talking about sensing things. Right before Casy was arrested, Tom mentioned how he sensed something was about to go down. Now, at the very end of 24, we have Pa saying, " They's change a-comin'. I don't know what. Maybe we won't live to see her. But she's a-comin'. They's a res'lss feelin'. Fella can't figer nothin' out, he's so nervous." That has to be foreshadowing of what we will read in Chapter 26.

So, two questions for 24 would have to be 1) How bad off does one have to be to turn their backs on their own people? We've seen families in pretty bad shape in The Grapes of Wrath, but are they better off then the guys hired to start a fight at the dance. 2) What do you think the real reason is for the police wanting to run the migrants out of the government camp? Is it to protect what "belongs" to them, or because of the fear of communism and unions?


Chapter 25 is a short but strong chapter, and we're not introduced to named characters. We are, however, meeting the men behind the growth of fruit, and the creation of new fruits like nectarines and forty different types of plums. The reader is placed into a beautiful orchard, with the scents of budding blossoms float in the air, and the colors are vivid. And just as the reader is enjoying the image, and can almost smell cherry blossoms, we are ripped away into a world of rot. Because the fruit does not have a high price on them, the men refuse to work to pick the fruit. Since no one is there to pick them, the fruit all ripen, and then fall to the ground to rot and be food for insects.

The main theme, no doubt, has to be waste. Outside the orchards are people starving, and here you have people just letting these veggies and  fruits rot away because they do not want people to have something for free. A great example is in this passage: "The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by..." Skips down a few lines and we come to, "..and in the eyes of the hungry there is growing wrath." Two other themes would be failure since nothing was earned by the crops dying. It's kind of like the 1920s really. It did well, it looked good, and there was fun. And at the end of the decade, everything, literally, crashed. It failed.

Now questions for this chapter. 1) Why do you think the people running the orchards would rather see the crops fail then feed the starving? 2) Why won't the business men just raise the price so people will come and work?



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Black Tuesday by Frank and Ritu

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Lake Placid Olympics by Paul and Andi

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Al Capone by Nate, Tyler, and Clay

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Harlem Ren. by Abby and Nicole

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Exploration 7

Traveling familes would put up tent for the night

In the book The Grapes of Wrath a interesting thing brought up is the camps. People traveling would stay and put up camp with other travelers. During the early years of the Great Depression large numbers of homeless families congregated in squatters' camps. In Oklahoma City these "transient camps". According to a 1934 study, about half of the camp residents were former tenant farmers or sharecroppers who came from Oklahoma's rural areas. In this time period and cultural it was normal for numbers of families to camp together for a good nights rest away from traveling and their cars. Families in this time period were all have money troubles and couldn't make means were they were. So most picked up and left for California. They would put all the belongings they could carry and stuffed them and themselves in a car and travel for miles. Every now and then they would need a actually good night of sleep. Where they could all stretch out, some fire grilled food and talk with other travelers. In today's society we have similar things. Of course, there is good old camping. But with that people stay to themselves and there are a few upgrades with the sleeping space. For example, there are now RVs and tents with multiple rooms. These are things people during the depression would of killed for.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Exploration 7

For this exploration I researched the theme grapes of wrath. In chapter twenty the theme that pops up is grapes of wrath. On page 335, in my book this theme starts as,

        "When ya get 'em picked, ever' goddamn one is picked. There ain't another damn thing in that part a the country to do. An' then them owners don' want you there no more. Three thousan' of you. The work's done. You might steal, you might get drunk, you might jus' raise hell. An' besides, you don' look nice, livin' in ol' tent; an' it's pretty country, but you stink it up. They don' want you aroun'. So they kick you out, they move you along. That's how it is." to work

This paragraph is describing how hard it is to get work in California. Knowing how bad everyone wants so, the owners pay a certian amount of money for working. That ment that the people had to decide if they wanted to work for money if not, they were replaced.

Today, this is why we have a minimum wage when we work at places. The owners of the places just have to pay minimum wage or more for people to work.

 In this picture it shows what these certian states what there minimum wage is. This what they have to atleast pay people this much.



                                         EXPLORATION 7 

The movement on the Highways:   
The movement on the highway's have given me a whole new outlook, now when I travel on the highway, I imagine lines and lines of people walking, camping and sleeping on them.  In the ditches lined with children and families who once had a bit of self worth. Who now are displaced and afraid. Living day to day with uncertainty.  I have to remember as it is so powerfully said in chapter 2o this is one of the two paragraph that has touched me.
      
'The MOVING, questing people migrants now. Those families which had lived on a little piece of land , who had lived and died on forty acres, had eaten and starved on the produce of forty acres, had now the whole West to rove in. And they scampered about looking for work; and the highways were streams of people.'  Wow, how powerful and what a visual you get in this paragraph.  My reasoning for posting the photo of the children is this, these are children of the camps. They ended up from the highways to the camps but even here while there was running water, food the children still look so afraid, so unsure and wondering where they might have to move nest.  My reasoning for making the word 'had' bold was because it is so imperatively on getting the point across of what the Joads and the other people had once. Now they are left to living in ditches on the highways, being hungry, dirty, afraid. Treated as though they were not 'human' in many cases.  Always referred to as 'The Goddamn Okies'.  A statement like that to me makes you become of a non-human person.




Migrant family from Idabel on the road to
Calfornia

Migrant family from Muskogee, Oklahoma
For these photos above  show the movement on the highway's and my second paragraph that was so powerful to explain and give us a real feel, of how they lived is this: ''And then suddenly the machines pushed them out and they scampered on the highways.  The movement changed them; the highways, the camps, along the road, the fear of hunger and the hunger itself, changed them.  The children without dinner changed them, the endless moving changed them. They were migrants. And the hostility changed them, welded them, united them--hostility that made little towns group and arm as though to repeal and invader, squads with pick handles, clerks and store keepers with shotguns, guarding the world against their own people.'
Will We Eat Today?

The word 'changed' them jumped out to me. The writer was wanting to see, to know to feel the way those poor people felt.  This has happened to people we love and know today.  I have asked many times when  was I young to my grandparents about how they lived and what the Great Depression was like and they shared these same stories. When your so hungry, your children hungry and sick you will do what it takes to get food.  Sometimes that meant people dying or getting hurt. It is known as survival.  Families than were so much more united as they grew up. Some families were destroyed yes, but through a tragedy such as this you grow and you remember where you came from and what you had once lost and that was for many  of 'Those families which had lived on a little piece of land, who had lived and died on forty acres, had eaten and starved on produce of forty acres.'


Exploration 7

In Grapes of Wrath police violence and rioting comes out to be a main theme. Many of the altercations, especially in chapter 20, is solved by violence. The police seemed disgusted by all the people put out of work by the depression and seem to just want them to leave town. I can totally understand their prospective as the people from the dust bowl headed out west and set up new camps and communities in their towns.
 Hungry people are dangerous people. In the struggle to survive humans get desperate. Some of the riots from the depression era included around                   (A small community of unemployed
 60,000 rioters. This made these communities very dangerous.          people in the depression)
The polices would usually respond with violence fearing their
city be thrown into chaos without any preemptive action.
Besides riots most police officers of the time were cruel in general. They were hit with the depression hard and most have had accepted bribes from local gangs and had become mostly corrupt. This was something the felt like they needed to do to survive the depression.






(A large riot with police responding to the unruly citizens)

Usually we like to think that something as unpredictable and dangerous as riots have mostly left but truth is they still exist. The middle east experiences riots on a day to day basis still because wherever there is political unrest riots follow. In America with the advancement of modern media protests are no longer met with real police violence needed to cause an all out riot but there are still the unsettled fans from sporting events burning couches and the street parties thrown by numerous colleges. The modern world is slowly phasing out civil unrest but can never fully. Its too hard to please everyone in a large modern society so their will always be a small group ready to stir up the crowd and start riots.

Exploration 7

Shanty towns were referred to as "Hoovervilles"
     A theme that stands out in the book and in society in the 1930's is people leaving their normal homes. They may be evicted due to not being able to pay rent or just moving out to try to move somewhere they can make a living. In the 1930's and 40's the shack towns that people would move to when they could no longer live where they used to were commonly referred to as "Hoovervilles". Homeless people would build shacks to live in and more and more would come to build their own shack with everyone else. The title "Hoovervilles" was referring to President Hoover and that they thought it was his fault for the great depression and that they were living in the shanty towns. I believe that the term was used against President Hoover, because then anyone that heard his name would automatically associate something bad with it. The living conditions of these towns were not pleasant and many people who didn't have carpentry skills would have to make their homes out of boxes or whatever they could find. I would hope that this would not happen to us in the 21st century, but we could have come awfully close with all of the foreclosed homes recently and the hard times everyone is having. It shows that sometimes you have to work especially hard to just have the bare necessities and not even everything that we take for granted every single day.

Exploration Seven: Minimum Wage

One historical event that really stood out to me in the reading is the whole lack of minimum wage. Because there was so little work, the workers were fighting over whatever jobs they could find. Often what mattered the most to who was hiring was how much, or actually how little, you were willing to work for. The competition between laborers was fierce. If someone offered to do the job for twenty-five cents, another person would offer to do it for twenty cents, and so on and so forth, until the wage wasn't anything besides food to eat. If you were paid in food, it wasn't nearly enough to feed your family. Employers had it great back in the days before minimum wage. They could pay next to nothing and get all their labor done because people were so desperate. They could then sell their product and make high profits because they spent so little on getting the work done. A good passage from the reading that supports the abundance of laborers but not enough work to do is "For every manload to lift, five pairs of arms extended to lift it; for every stomachful of food available, five mouths open." This really shows that the people during this time period were struggling to get food for their families and to make a living. Our nation first tried to adopt a national minimum wage in 1933, for twenty-five cents an hour, as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act. However, this was taken to court and The Supreme Court found it unconstitutional, so the act was abolished. The Fair Labor Standards Act was put into place in 1938, re-establishing the original minimum wage of twenty-five cents per hour. This time the concept of minimum wage was successful, and our nation has used it ever since. Many would argue that it is not a good thing, but others argue that it has helped our country out a lot since the great depression. After researching the economics of it for yourself, you can form your own opinions about minimum wage.

Sutters Land





John Sutter is associated with the great California Gold Rush.  However, despite his discovery of the rare metal, John Sutter died almost a poor man.  Johann August Suter was Born in Germany on February the 15th 1803.  He later joined the Swiss Army and at age 23 married a rich young widow.  before long, however, Suter accumulated large debts so in 1834 he left his family and voyaged to America.  He had many travels and adventures before he finally settled in California in 1839, where his wife and children rejoined him.  He became a Mexican citizen and was given 48,827 acres and built a settlement that he called New Helvetia, the Latin word for Switzerland. He Built a fort and a town to support and protect his tenants.  in 1848 one of Sutters trusted employees found gold on the property, and before long they were over run with thousands of thieving miners.  Despite his attempts to mine the gold himself, all his workers were keeping the gold for themselves, he eventually tried to sell his land.  However, the agents that he hired to do so cheated him and he ended up deeding the land to his son who proceeded to be very successful and build modern day Sacramento.  Sutter moved to D.C for political purposes and eventually died in a hotel room in 1880.  He lost the majority of his wealth, and is now almost forgotten.  He does, however, have a few schools and geographical areas and landmarks named after him.  He was mentioned in grapes of wrath because of how he originally got his land.  He simply claimed it, and held it until it was officially his.

Exploration 7

Exploration 7
Noah Lucas

Men digging a ditch during the depression


      A theme that I see as important in the Grapes of Wrath is a willingness to work, and hard work. The people of the depression usually had absolutely nothing and they were always willing to work, it didn't matter at all what the job was or how much they got paid, they just wanted work so they could provide for their families and have enough to eat. You see this theme a lot in our readings, the Joad men are willing to do whatever they have to to provide for the family, and have enough money to continue their journey.
      In chapter 22, Tom meets Timothy Wallace and his son Wilkie at the Weedpatch camp they are staying in and they become friends. The Wallace's offer to try and help Tom get a job laying pipe with them. Once they arrive at the job site, their boss comes out and doesn't seem to happy to see that they brought another man with them, and goes on to lower their pay because the Farmers' Association is lowering the wage and he has to also. While the men are not happy with the lower pay they are still willing to do the work because of how desperate they are.
It doesn't matter what the job is,
do it to the best of your ability. 
       Their hard work, and willingness to work is something that stands out to me because it's something that my father has always taught my brothers and I to do. While a lot of the time he doesn't teach us to work hard by telling us we need to, he leads by example, always doing his best and never complaining when something tough comes up. I feel like in todays society this concept is lost. A lot of men expect things to be handed to them and would rather not work a job and just scrape by, they would rather get handouts from the government and not have to work at all.

   Hard work and a work ethic makes my family what it is today. My great great grandfather started our family business, taught his son the values of hard work, who in turn taught his boys what it means to have a work ethic, they then taught my grandpa that nothing is going to be handed to him and he has to work hard, he taught my father who leads by example, to this day, in teaching me and my brothers. It is our backbone.

Exploration 7: The Laborer Camps

This image is an example of the problems that workers all over the country were encountering 
The thing that most recently stood out to me in the book is the camps - both the 'self-made' camps (such as 'Hooverville'), and the government site. I think what surprised me the most was the fact that most of these folks were not thinking about th result of their migration (due to the propaganda used through the flyers they've received); that everyone flocking to the same place to find work meant that there would be less work to go around - only adding to their struggles. Anyways, back to my subject at hand. Not only were the migrants plagued by shady police and contractors, but there were also foreign migrants coming into the area as well. As a result, the 'self-made' camps were a mix of different ethnic groups, so problems of conflict and discrimination were always flared. All of these workers also often suffered from poor health because their living conditions were very unsanitary. The FSA (Farm Society Association) stepped in to try and solve these issues with the first government camp opening in Arvin, California in 1937. Today, there are still government-run laborer camps in operation, but they are very secluded; far away from the public eye. Perhaps the reason being is that because many of the camps are run down to the verge of being condemned. In 1984, a woman by the name of Jana Marcus was assigned to take pictures of the laborer camps of Panjaro Valley in Northern California. She discovered that the living conditions of the workers was far from suitable - much like the residents' predecessors. We have seen similar circumstances in 2008 and after that when people lost their jobs, and were forced out of their homes that they could no longer afford. We saw a rise in folks living in shelters or out of their cars - similar to those folks in the 1930's during the Great Depression. This particular aspect of the story is where I (personally) placed the most value because this is supposed to be America. Many people came to this land to escape their oppresors; not to find new ones via crooked police and employers, or even their living conditions.

Exploration 7

The theme I researched was family life of the 1920's because family is so important to the Joads. The family keeps falling apart because Granma and Granpa died and Connie went away as well as Noah. Ma is falling apart due to the family falling apart. She is doing everything in her power to keep them together. Family life now and family life back in the 20's are very different. Gender roles were more specific back then, such as the women cooking and the men doing the hard work. Also the money is different. The families in the 1920's could have near nothing and be okay with it, but now all we do is feed on money. We are so greedy now. I value family a lot because my mother, similar to ma Joad, taught us that family always comes first. We would never do anything to hurt our family no matter what.
In the book, ma tries to keep the family together and she always keeps hope. Even when Pa and Uncle John couldn't find work, she keeps high hopes because Tom had. ""Glad to have you," the older man said. "We'll try to git you workin' if you want." "Ya goddamn right I want," Tom said. "Jus' wait a minute. I'll go tell my folks."" Tom wanted to make his folks happy by telling them he got work, to relieve them and let them know things might turn for the good soon.  This was a picture of what the families looked like in the 1930's.
One theme that i found all through out the book was family and hard work. These themes pop up a lot in the reading. To this people family is an important part of their lives, the reason why they move west is for their family, to give them a better future, to be able to provide for them. In chapter 19 the guy walks into the shop and asks to get 10 cents worth of bread. That is all the money he has and he does it so he can feed his family. When the kids ask for candy he spends his last cent on them as well. In the book family is everything, they all do work, they break their work out so everyone has something to do. This makes it easier on the family when everyone is helping. The other theme that i saw through out the book was hard work. These people want a piece of land, but they just don't want the piece of land to be given to them, they want to work the land and work for it.
Famous Picture of a migrant mother and her family
One theme that I have been noticing throughout the readings is disunity between people. People are constantly being cruel, distrustful, unhappy etc with each other. Times like the great depression when everyone is in need and helpless, people should be coming together to find solutions, to support and to meet each other's needs. But, in the book, people are seperating from each other and constantly complaining. They are just thinkng about themselves. They are unwilling to help each other out. People are selfish which leads to one looking down upon the other or trying to take anything that the other person has.

selfish world
      I think that this theme is still alive today, as the times get rough, people start to get rough with each other and become selfish. Although, I think that even when we are doing just fine, we tend to just not be satisfied with what we have and try to strive to get more and more for ourselves. Our selfish actions only leads to unrelational and cruel world and that is exactly what I see in the book. The farmers are looked down upon by those who have money but are still not happy. They are being cruel to the poor and only looking for self gain and have no desire to help those in need.                                         

Exploration 7

Exploration 7-
Devon L. Hardwick

We see here a riot has broken out at a Hooverville
and force of the police.
      As we read through this novel many things "pop" out at us as strange and simply topics which we never have herd of.  Here in chapter 20 we read about the Joads  and their experience in the Hooverville and their first encounter with the police.  The police of the first part of the last century were much different that the police of today.  Many took bribes and miss used their power as a police officer.  In The Grapes of Wrath we see this here with the confutation with Tom and the police and how the police come back and burn the people out of the Hooverville.   There are many cases, where the police during the Great Depression took to violence to put an end to the "vagrants" living in their town.  Among these violent out breaks is what historians call today "Bloody Sunday," though this incident took place in Canada, the effect is still the same.  This incident was a "sitdowners" strike where some 700 men came into the streets of Vancouver to protest their unemployment, peacefully.  Once the fighting broke out more than 40 men were injured, only of which were Vancouver police officers. 
We can see the strikers reacting to the force
of the police by returning the gas bombs fired
into the crowd of men.
  Today we can look back on the violence that took place during the Great Depression and say that things like that do not happen in our world today, this can not be further from the truth, today's society is full of such violence.  Though in America  the police violence is not nearly as bad as it was in the last century, but still the power given to the police may lead to a miss use of that power.  Today we do not fear that our police men will harm others without reason, but the fear that lingerers from this dark time in American history will always remain in the hearts of thousands of Americans.  Though our country may be safe for now, other countries around the globe face this fear on a day by day  bases, a fear that can never be cured for once that trust is lost it will take decades for it to be regained.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Exploration 7

Kyle Cavanaugh
Family

Family Today
The theme that stands out to me the most in the book so far is family.  Without having a family to make this long journey to california it wouldn't possible, they all depend on each other to get through these rough times.  Being forced off your land and losing family members is not an easy thing to overcome, so they have to rely on each other for support.  They all had a certain task to make things easier on everyone, if everyone had an even amount of work so they all wouldn't depend on one single person.  One section in chapter 17 stood out to me the most "Each member of the family grew into his proper place, grew into his duties; so that each member, old and young, had his place in the car' so that in the weary, hot evenings, when the cars pulled into the camping places, each member had his duty and went to it without instruction: children to gather the wood, to carry water; men to pitch tents and bring down the beds; women to cook the supper and to watch while the family fed. And this was done without command."  We see this theme in society today, everyday.  Family is a huge part in our culture.  I personally value my family a lot because I think it's very important to understand where your family is from and what they had been through.  No matter the time family will always have an impact on everyones lives.
Migrant 1920's family

Exploration 7: Family



In recent years and during the time in which The Grapes of Wrath take place, family has played a large role in American life. During times of economic uncertainty, families depend on one another to get by, and we see that in The Grapes of Wrath. It's not just the Joads we see it in, but in every major decision that is made in the book, and in every character that we meet.

Through Muley Graves, the reader sees what happens when someone separates from the family. Muley just wonders about, and has no real meaning left. He claims to be watching over everyone's land, but the farmers are not going to head back when they have been pushed off their land. Muley tries to give himself purpose, and it is all in vain. Later on, Casy saves Tom's skin by taking the fault in beating a cop. When asked why he did it, Casy answers with, "Somebody got to take the blame. I got no kids. They'll jus' put me in jail, an' I ain't doin' nothin' but set aroun'." It comes off as a man who, yes is saving a friend more prison time, but also figures that he does not have a hell of a lot to live for. Had Casy had a family to worry about, this part of chapter twenty might have played out differently.
The Joads (Grapes of Wrath movie) are a close knit-large family.

As for the Joads, we see how everything they do is for family. Ma is the central figure, and tries to keep everyone together. When Tom suggest that the rest of the family should head into Bakersfield, and himself and Casy would meet up after they fix the truck, Ma pulls out a bar of iron, and threatens to beat anyone who doesn’t agree with her that they should all stick together. Ma hates to see the family fight, and hates the idea of being separated from the others. Her belief is that, in the end, all anyone ever has is family.

Today's society tries to get back to old family values.
In today’s society, there has been a push to spend more time with family. In TV ads, people have been encouraged to sit down for a family meal at the dining table. We see more families moving in together to help support each other because money just is not there. I value family in a way that Ma sort of does. I hate to see my family be separated (my parents’ divorce when I was seven still bothers me), and when we stray from our traditions, it angers me. Coming from a family where we don’t have a lot, and my dad’s side being farmers, well, I’ve learned the meaning of family, and having that support system. Family is like a backbone, and everyone needs one.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The FDIC and Banking Reform by Margaret and Chris

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Battle of Matewan, Labor Unrest by Kyle and Noah

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Prohibition and its Repeal by Kori and Mercedes

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March of Dimes by Devon and Rhonda

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Monday, October 8, 2012

          I found chapter thirteen very interesting. They find a dead dog on the road. Their grandfather ends up dying as well.  They are not allowed to bury him for it is against the law. But, they end up doing it anyways with having the family and the preacher their. It is so depressing to read that they couldn't even bury him, let alone a proper funeral. It shows that without money you couldn't do anything. It is not only affecting the people but also the animals. As they are just running around everywhere, probably starving. Nobody can take care of them as people are trying to feed themselves.
       People are rushing from one place to another, running after money.The fat man talks about how people are going somewhere and they all got somewhere to go.My favorite passage is " I don' know what the country's comin' to," the fat man continued. His complaint had shifted now and he was no longer talking to or about the Joads. "Fifty-six cars a folks go by ever; day, folks all movin; west with kids an' househo' stuff. Where they goin'? what they gonna do?". I think the theme would be the country if falling apart without the money, that they are going to be end up like grandpa and the dog.
   

                                                                                            

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chapter 14 had an impact on me...

Chapter 14, to me, was very powerful in the sense that these folks figured out what they were up against - like they knew that the "monster" was out to divide and conquer them. They knew that by coming together through these perilous times, that it gave them some power. It may not have been much, but it was enough to make them realize that although they were divided from their land, they do not have to be divided from each other in community. I highlighted the passage:

"This is the beginning - from "I" to "we." If you who own things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes form results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we.""

This is the true meaning of revolution; when two or more people can come together in the midst of the very thing set out to tear them apart and dehumanize them. The events that lead up to the Great Depression, and the depression itself marked a new era in the banking and financial world. It is unspoken that it was also a start of a new era when people lost their sense of community and focused more on themselves, regardless of the welfare of others. The illustration of The Joads and the Wilsons; two families who never knew each other who crossed paths at their lowest points - when it is said that people cannot trust each other- is a prime example of the genuine form of revolution that I have expressed here in this post.