The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, is a story about a familyís epic

Struggles of survival during the time of the depression. Tom, the eldest son of the Joad

Family, finds himself in a unique when he must leave his home and head out to

California with his family. As Tom and his family headed West on their journey, he
found himself as the leader of the family after his grandpa had died and his father
was not thinking straight. Throughout the journey, Tom and his mother took care of the
family and did the best they could to maintain order in the family.

Tom was a good, reasonable person. Sure he had been locked in Prison for four
years, but that was only because he got in a drunken fight and killed a man with a
shovel. But Tom was only defending himself, he didnít mean to kill the man, but he did.

In prison, Tom kept to himself and didnít talk much. He probably figured that was the
only way he was going to get out of prison sooner. And his patience paid off, because he
was released in four years, instead of seven. When Tom got home, he realized that
nothing was left. All of the houses were torn down and everyone was gone. If Tom hadnít
seen his old neighbor Muley, he might have never seen his family again. After Muley had
told Tom that his family was with his Uncle John, he set out to his Uncleís house with
his old friend, Casy. As soon as Tomís mother saw him standing in the doorway, she was
so happy that "Her head sank slowly to her side" and the fork she was holding in her
hand hit the floor (Steinbeck 80). After Tom had re-acquainted himself with everyone in
his family, they all sat down and had breakfast. After breakfast, they all discussed and
planned their journey to California.

After Tom and his family decided when they were leaving, Tom had to give it
some serious thinking before he decided to leave. Since he was out on parole, he could
not leave the state, or else he would get sent back to jail for the remaining three years of
his sentence. But, Tom realized that his family needed him with them, so he decided to go
with them. Besides, Tom figured that if he just did not get into any trouble in California,
he would be fine. Tom and his family left the next morning at daylight. "They took

Highway 66, the main migrant road" across the country (Steinbeck 127). The trip was a
long one, But Tom and his family managed to get there. Unfortunately, Tomís family
suffered many losses. Tomís grandpa died on the way to California, and Tomís grandma
died in California, but she wasnít able to see the mountains and great valleyís of

California. Noah, Tomís brother, got left behind somewhere in the Mojave Desert because
he just walked away down a river. Casy, made it to California, but he was taken into jail
for hitting a cop at one of the Hoovervilles. Once Tom and his family found work, times
were not that bad. But when they could not find any work, things got bad. So Tom and
his family had to leave the first couple of places they stayed at because they needed food
and money. Tom realized that his family needed someplace they could go to where they
would be treated good and where they could be clean. He decided to take his family to
one of the government camps that people had been talking about. So Tom took his family
to a government camp and they lived pretty good, but only for a short while.

At the government camp, life was good. There were bathrooms, showers, and places
to wash clothes. Tom and his family lived for only a month. They would have stayed
longer, but the family could not find work. So Tom and his family set off. They had
heard of some possible work not too far away. When they got to Hooper Ranch, the cops
lined them up on the road and sent them in to the ranch. The work there wasnít so
good. They were paid five cents for every box of peaches that they picked. Things would
not have gotten so bad if Tom had not attacked a cop. But Tom only did it in self
defense. Besides, the cop that he hurt had killed