There are signs of hope in these chapters, like the friendship of the Joad's family with the Wilsons, the story of Mae the waitress, or the bonds and humanity that emerge among families that meet on the road. However, overall, drama and tragedy increase. First, death strikes the family, who looses Grampa and Granma. Even the death of the dog brings a component of bad luck. Second, uncertainty and strong worries about the future in California appear as they meet people for whom the California dream did not work. Finally, the unraveling of the family. Not only with he grandparents death, but also with the departure of Noah.
How do you feel the tragedy is affecting the characters? For instance, Ma Joad?
The story of Mae, the waitress, seems like a drop of kindness among so much harshness. How do you think that story fits? Do you think that kind of circle of gratitude happens in real life? Or is it too idealistic?
What about the illustration of capitalism that Steinbeck does? Again, it is interesting to remember that the book was written in 1939.