Is the heavy rain the cause of the Joads' problems at the end of the book?
Students should be sure to look at Chapter 29, in which Steinbeck argues that rain is simply a catalyst: if the migrant workers were living under better conditions, if they had support on which to rely or rights that were respected, then several days of rain would not drive them to desperation. Rain might be the immediate cause of some of the difficulties, like Rose of Sharon's illness or the condition of the car's engine, but the Joads' problems are truly caused by the banks and the Farmers' Association, the desperate circumstances under which they are forced to live.
Do you think Tom has made...
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