The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It is the morning of the Saturday dance. Ezra Huston, chairman of the camp’s Central Committee, briefs his committee on the Farmers’ Association’s plans to incite violence. Willie Eaton, his entertainment chairman, has hired twenty men to keep watch for troublemakers. Huston emphasizes that the men should not hurt the instigators, and only prevent them from doing harm.
Huston appears to be a caring individual who is genuinely concerned with everyone’s health and safety. His generous character is supported by the fact that he ensures that the impending threat will be dealt with humanely.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
On his way to the dance, Al flirts with a girl, but is chased away by the girl’s mother. Meanwhile, Rosasharn agrees to come to the dance with Ma, but on the condition that she can abstain from dancing.
Al’s roguishness contrasts with and highlights Rosasharn’s romantic humiliation and guilty concern about morals incited by Mrs. Sandry.
Themes
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
The dance begins. Tom and other young men keep watch for the riot-starters, and they notice three suspicious characters. As the three intruders force their way into the center of the dance floor, Tom and his friends quickly surround them and keep them from starting any fights. The police, expecting a riot to be started by this time, try to enter the camp without a warrant, but are turned away.
The corrupt police’s concerted attempt to invade the camp shows that they are clearly in cahoots with these instigators and the wealthy men who back them from the shadows.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
As the troublemakers are thrown out of the camp, they reveal that they were just trying to earn money to eat. Ezra Huston tells them that their actions are only hurting their own people. An entertainment committee guard wants to assault the interlopers, but Willie Eaton insists that they leave unharmed.
Even though the troublemakers showed no regard for the well-being of their people, the men in charge of the camp are concerned for all Okies. This is why they do not retaliate against the scoundrels.
Themes
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
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A man tells Pa a story about a group of mountain people who formed a union while working for a rubber company in Akron. Akron’s townspeople labeled them “reds” and prepared to drive them out. However, the mountain men organized a turkey shoot outside the town, and five thousand of them marched through Akron carrying rifles. This display of force halted efforts to expel the mountain people. The man knowingly suggests that the Okies establish their own turkey shooting club.
This anecdote reinforces the notion that groups of people are far stronger than any individual could be. The rising discontent amongst the Okies has prompted them to realize that a display of power might be able to win them better living conditions.
Themes
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon