During the 1930s, America experienced a very trying time with different social events going on specifically the environmental disaster. The Dust Bowl drought had affected the Great Plains region of the United States fifty years prior to the present drought. Giant dust clouds covered the land suffocating the livestock and making it impossible to see. This condition can be partly blamed on the sharecroppers that wiped out the agricultural capacity of the land. They planted large cotton crops that robbed the soil of its nutrients. Farming started becoming a nonprofitable profession. With the combination of the stock market crash of 1929 and the downfall of the economy, the farmers had nothing. They began migrating to California dreaming of a new beginning.
The Grapes of Wrath deals with this unfortunate situation. It involves the Joad family. Tom Joad, head of this family has just been paroled from McAlester State Penitentiary. He had been in prison for four years for manslaughter. He killed a man with a shovel in self defense. After being paroled, Tom hitchhiked home. On the road home, Tom runs into a preacher from his childhood. Jim Casy tells Tom that he no longer preaches. He and Tom talk for awhile and Tom invites Jim to his home.
Once they arrive at Tom's house, everything is completely different. The home was abandoned. A neighbor, Muley Graves explained to Tom that the drought had turned the farmland into a desert and the bank repossessed the land. His family had to move in with Tom's Uncle John and were preparing to leave for California to find work. Both men are too tired to continue their journey so they decided to stay at the abandoned house for the night. The next day they head for Uncle John's house.
The Joad family is packing for their long journey when the men arrive. The family is thrilled to see them for the first time in four years even with the present s