How would you characterize Tom's interactions with the truck driver?
The driver seems extremely cautious—"He seemed to spread nets, to set traps with his questions." Tom counters this by being straightforward about his situation, and by trying to learn more about the driver and his life. Both men are simultaneously defensive and direct, which increases tension in the truck but also allows readers to learn more about the characters.
Why do you think Steinbeck includes the more abstract, "generalized" chapters along with the story of Tom Joad?
This is a question that you should return to when the students have read more of the book, but allow them to speculate...
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