1. Examine the intercalary chapters to find passages which seem to reflect some of Steinbeck's philosophies. Compare these passages with dialogue delivered by the novel's main characters to determine to what extent Steinbeck's perspective is similar or different.
2. Compare Steinbeck's journalistic accounts of the migrant story found in newspaper articles from The San Francisco News and the pamphlet "Their Blood Was Strong" to his account of the migrant workers in The Grapes of Wrath. Based on Steinbeck's use of the two mediums to tell the same story, draw some conclusions on the differences between fiction and journalism.
3. Describe briefly the social and historical background in which The Grapes of Wrath was created. How did this context affect the novel's public and critical reception? How has this reception changed as the historical events that shaped the novel have receded into the distant past?
4. How has the condition of the migrant farm workers changed since The Grapes of Wrath was first published in 1939? Did the novel have any influence, direct or indirect, in the changes that have occurred?