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It’s funny in life how things and people can often become one. For example, often
times pets resemble their owners. Maybe in personality, or a certain physical
feature. Throughout the book, The Grapes of Wrath, there are chapters that play
on one another. For this assignment I picked chapters six and nine because I
believe they resemble each other in quite remarkable ways.
Chapter six and nine both bring up possessions and the importance and
relevance they have in your life.
Chapter six talks about how Muley can’t leave the land because it’s part of
him, even Casy says, “Fella gets use’ to a place, it’s hard to go.” p.69 Casy also
says..... “Muley’s got a holt of somepin, an’ it’s too big for him, an’ it’s too big for
me.” p.66 What’s most important or most relevant is when Muley gets so worked
up, (“Them sons-a-bitches,” and goes on about how is “pa come here fifty years
ago. An’ I ain’t a-goin’.”) p.63-64 He even goes on about how the land is no good
on p. 64. Muley talks about wandering like a graveyard ghost. “I been goin’
aroun’ the places over by our forty: in a gully they’s a bush. Fust time I ever laid a
girl.” p.69 How his father got killed by a bull and the bloods still there. His
whole life is a part of that earth. His blood, humanities, sweat, and tears. It’s all
there. It’ll always be there. No matter how the sun beats on the cruel cold earth.
No matter how man or technology tears her up. It’ll always be there.
Chapter nine expresses similar ideas, except they talk about possessions not
of earth but material things.
“In the little houses the tenant people sifted their belongings and the
belongings of their fathers and of their grandfathers.” How can you leave a place
you breathed all your life? How can you gather your beloved materials and sell
them to someone who has no value for them? In the story they (I believe that
“they” is Al and Ton or some other members of the Joad family) talk about certain
memories. For example on page 117, they say, “That plow, that horrow,
remember in the war we planted mustard?” These things mean so much to them.
Our lives are so much a part of what we own. “You’re buying a little girl plaiting
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cocked, rubbing the soft noses with her cheek. You’re buying years of work, toil
in the sun, you’re buying a sorrow that can’t talk. But watch it, mister. There’s a
premium goes with this pile of junk and the bay horses with this beautiful- a
packet of bitterness to grow in your house and to flower, some day.” p.118 Not
only a beautiful phrase, but a powerful one. It points out the magnitude and
emotions of things, memories you just can’t let go.
In conclusion, these two chapters interrelate. They both deal with the same
idea. “You are what you own." Which is a tormenting thought
when you have to give up a piece of your heart and merely receive worthless
freedom. A freedom you can’t grow, a freedom you can’t plow and a freedom that
can’t be held. And it can never be bought and it’s too bad that this it the only way
to achieve it.
The Grapes Of Wrath