John Steinbeck (1902 -
In the restaurant the truck driver paid his bill and put his two nickels' change in a slot machine. The whirling cylinders gave him no score. "They fix 'em
so you can't win nothing," he said to the waitress.
And she replied, "Guy took the jackpot not two hours ago. Three-
He held the screen door a little open. "Week-
She said crossly, "Don't let the flies in. Either go out or come in."
"So long," he said, and pushed his way out. The screen door banged behind him. He stood in the sun, peeling the wrapper from a piece of gum. He was
a heavy man, broad in the shoulders, thick in the stomach. His face was red and his blue eyes long and slitted from having squinted always at sharp light.
He wore army trousers and high laced boots.
Holding the stick of gum in front of his lips he called through the screen, "Well, don't do nothing you don't want me to hear about." The waitress was
turned toward a mirror on the back wall. She grunted a reply. The truck driver gnawed down the stick of gum slowly, opening his jaws and lips wide with
each bite. He shaped the gum in his mouth, rolled it under his tongue while he walked to the big red truck.
The driver looked quickly back at the restaurant for a second. "Didn't you see the No Riders sticker on the win'shield?"
The driver, getting slowly into the truck, considered the parts of this answer. If he refused now, not only was he not a good guy, but he was forced to
carry a sticker, was not allowed to have company. If he took in the hitch-
bastard could kick around. He knew he was being trapped, but he couldn't see a way out. And he wanted to be a good guy. He glanced again at the
restaurant. "Scrunch down on the running board till we get around the bend," he said.
from: John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath
1. How does the hitch-
2. How does Steinbeck let us know what kind of a man the truck driver is?
3. Comment on the language used in the given text.
4. Divide the text into its main parts. Give each part a heading.
5. Tell the story of Candy's dog. Why is it so important in the novel?
6. Write a character sketch of Curley and his wife.
7. The title of the novel is taken from a poem by Robert Burns "To a Mouse":
"The best laid schemes of mice and men go often awray,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain for promised joy."
Why do you think Steinbeck chose this title?
8. In about fifty (50) words, describe which aspect of the story you liked best.