Literary Analysis of Chapter 23 of The Grapes of Wrath.
Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, he describes, in Chapter 23, how the migrants entertain themselves when they are unable to find work. Some migrants turned to music while others turned to storytelling, alcohol, or listening to radical ministers preach about redemption and salvation.
The tone of the intercalary is that of desperation. "And the people listened, and their quite eyes reflected the dying fire.” (Steinbeck, 444). The people will do anything just to be relieved of their boredom, thus the tone of desperation in found to be present. "And when they were all in, waist deep in the water, and looking with frightened eyes at the master, he knelt down the bank and prayed for them.” (Steinbeck, 450). The people will do anything just to feel that they will obtain some form of relief, therefore showing the desperation at hand in the intercalary. "The hard edges gone, and the warmth. Then there was not loneliness, for a man could people his brain with friends, and he could find his enemies and destroy them.” (Steinbeck, 447). This quote describe how migrants will do anything just to escape like drinking alcohol so they could be delirious, thus setting the tone of desperation.
The style of the intercalary is description. "The migrant people, scuttling for work, scrabbling to live, looked always for pleasure, dug for pleasure, manufactured pleasure, and they were hungry for amusement.” (Steinbeck, 444). Steinbeck tells of how the atmosphere the migrants lived in, repetition like "looked always for pleasure, dug for pleasure, manufactured pleasure” give the reader a heightened feeling of the desperation and anxiety the migrants were feeling. Steinbeck does not just tell the reader about the people he makes them feel what the migrants felt. "Playing a reel and tapping out the tune, and the big deep strings of the guitar beating like a heart, and the harmonica's sharp chords and the skirl and squeal of the fiddle.