The Grapes of Wrath Quotes

Tom laughed uneasily, "Well, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one – an’ then – "
"Then what, Tom?"
"Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where – wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ – I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build – why, I’ll be there. See? God, I’m talkin’ like Casy. Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes."

– John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 28. As Tom Joad prepares to leave his family, he takes time to bid goodbye to his mother, delivering the novel’s most famous speech. From the dark isolation of his cave, he reveals how he has seen the light and humanity of Casy’s "one soul" philosophy. In his final appearance of the novel, he pledges to devote his life to fighting for justice for poor people oppressed by a corrupt system. His message is one that offers hope and leadership to hungry migrant workers searching for a just deal. Fully committed to Casy’s idea that we are all part of the one community of humanity, Tom has become Casy. He even admits that he speaks like him. And like Casy also, Tom went into a wilderness of his own, the cave, and discovered his true calling.