1. Discuss the development of Tom Joad as a character. How does he grow throughout the book? What effects do Jim Casy’s imprisonment and death have on his development?
2. Discuss the ending of the novel. Does it fit aesthetically with the rest of the book? Is it believable for Rose of Sharon to assume the role of a transcendent giver of life? Does the ending effectively embody thematic trends within the novel’s development? Does it provide hope, or does it leave the reader unsettled?
3. The third chapter of the novel depicts a turtle crossing the Oklahoma highway. How does this chapter symbolize the story of the migrants?
4. Think about the book in terms of Steinbeck’s intent for it. Do you think it successfully raises sympathy for the plight of the Dust Bowl farmers, or does it seem untrustworthy in some way?