14 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2017
    1. "If I was still a preacher I'd say the arm of the Lord had struck. But now I don't know what happened. I been away. I didn't hear nothin'."

      Whereas earlier in life Casy would've attributed the current condition of the Joad estate on supernatural forces, nowadays Casy admits that he doesn't have the answer. Perhaps the best way to adapt a non-teleoloical mode of thinking is admitting ignorance, because there are simply things that people cannot know.

    1. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so.

      Banks and bankers are driven by the unending pursuit of profits. Therefore, bankers care little about the welfare of the individual. Capital is a corrupting influence and as Steinbeck has already demonstrated, human nature is prone to corruption.

    2. The squatting tenant men nodded and wondered and drew figures in the dust, and yes, they knew, God knows. If the dust only wouldn't fly. If the top would only stay on the soil, it might not be so bad.

      If only things acted differently the world would be wholly alien. However, things are the way that they are and thus produce fixed outcomes and results.

    3. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank—or the Company—needs—wants—insists—must have—as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.

      Non-teleological in that mankind can be manipulated based on sets of variables and this is simply the way it is. There are generally always two ways said set of variables can be manipulated.

    1. 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain't nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.'"

      Very, very reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.

    2. "I says, 'Maybe it ain't a sin. Maybe it's just the way folks is. Maybe we been whippin' the hell out of ourselves for nothin'.

      The very essence of non-teleological thinking.

    3. An' some I'd baptize to bring 'em to. An' then—you know what I'd do? I'd take one of them girls out in the grass, an' I'd lay with her. Done it ever' time. Then I'd feel bad, an' I'd pray an' pray, but it didn't do no good. Come the next time, them an' me was full of the sperit, I'd do it again. I figgered there just wasn't no hope for me, an' I was a damned ol' hypocrite. But I didn't mean to be.

      Despite his piety Casy was human, all too human. In a non-teleological sense, Casy was doing the thing many people in his position would do. Thus, perhaps no man is able to resist temptation.

    4. I ain't so sure of a lot of things

      As Casy soon tells us, his decision to leave the church is based on his experiences.

    5. Joad plodded along, dragging his cloud of dust behind him. A little bit ahead he saw the high-domed shell of a land turtle, crawling slowly along through the dust, its legs working stiffly and jerkily. Joad stopped to watch it, and his shadow fell on the turtle.

      The journey of the turtle being overshadowed by Tom is a foreshadowing of the Joads' journey to California later on in the novel. Like creatures battling the weather, humans must battle as well. Mother Nature is an unrelenting force.

    1. The wild oat head fell out and three of the spearhead seeds stuck in the ground. And as the turtle crawled on down the embankment, its shell dragged dirt over the seeds. The turtle entered a dust road and jerked itself along, drawing a wavy shallow trench in the dust with its shell. The old humorous eyes looked ahead, and the horny beak opened a little. His yellow toe nails slipped a fraction in the dust.

      The survival and perseverance of the turtle suggests that the force of nature is inherently stronger than man. Additionally, attempts by man to dethrone nature are thwarted as evidenced by this passage involving the car hitting the turtle. This is presented as merely the way things are by Steinbeck and ties into the ecological/biological layer present throughout the novel.

    1. Why, I'm thinkin' of takin' one of them correspondence school courses. Mechanical engineering. It's easy. Just study a few easy lessons at home. I'm thinkin' of it. Then I won't drive no truck. Then I'll tell other guys to drive trucks."

      Perhaps not the best example, but this passage is non-teleological per say. The truck driver wants to take the courses in mechanical engineering as a way to strive for something greater and more purposeful. In short, the truck driver is pursuing the American Dream and is doing so rather blindly and faithfully.

  2. Feb 2017
    1. And money that might have gone to wages went for gas, for guns, for agents and spies, for blacklists, for drilling

      I think this is telling, because while there is available currency that could be used to help the migrants, it is instead used to combat them. Nice reflection on the nature of the State, of power, and of State sponsored oppression. It simply is what it is--a function of the corrupting influence of power.

    2. And the defending people said, They bring disease, they're filthy. We can't have them in the schools. They're strangers. How'd you like to have your sister go out with one of 'em?

      A rather powerful comment made by Steinbeck which highlights the cruel, savage nature of the situation that many people are in during this time. This hatred and prejudice is a learned behavior, and it simply is what it is. The people who are unwelcoming of the Okies can't be blamed because they are simply following a now normalized mode of thinking.

    1. n the evening a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream

      In this instance, the narrator talks about the oneness of the people. The suffering of one individual is multiplied and ultimately becomes the suffering of all.