Harvest Gypsies - Short Answer Study Questions

  1. Steinbeck described the migrant workers as the new gypsies. What did he mean by that?black and white photo of a row of makeshift housing alongside dirt roads and small fields
  2. How does Steinbeck define human dignity?
  3. What factors lead to the migrants being easy targets for exploitation once they arrive in California?
  4. Steinbeck describes a progression of events that break the migrants' spirits. What are those events?
  5. According to Steinbeck, how do the small farmers' and larger growers' attitudes towards labor differ? Explain the different treatment the migrants receive from the two groups.
  6. Why are the migrants unsuccessful at seeking public aid from the government?
  7. What practices to growers use to discourage labor organization among the migrant workers?
  8. Explain the importance of community interaction and responsibility in restoring the migrants' dignity.
  9. How does Steinbeck say the surrounding counties only hurt themselves by refusing to deal with the migrant problem in a practical and rational manner?
  10. According to Steinbeck, how does vigilante violence undermine established, lawful political authority?

    Setting | Character Summaries| Plot Synopsis | Critical Reception
    Cultural References | Key Terms and Concepts | Major Themes