Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Final Grapes post & Hurricane update.

Sorry I don't have a better title this week. I'm blaming Hurricane Sandy. I plan on blaming a lot on her.

First up, Sandy update! Boyfriend+ and I are fine. No flooding and the only real casualty we faced in the storm was our grill cover. It didn't blow away, but it held on so fiercely that it ripped in half. RIP friend. We did however lose power Monday afternoon and according to reports we shouldn't expect to get it back for 7-10 days. Apparently something like 90% of Long Island is without power, so there's a lot of commiserating on the island, as well as plans to burst into the locations that do have electricity. At least I've been making those plans. Watch out, bagel place down the street.

Boyfriend+'s work has power AND they got their internet up today, hence how I can post this. I believe my office does actually have power today. However my office is also in Manhattan, which I cannot get to as the trains aren't running. FUN TIMES.

Really though, we're very lucky that other than inconveniences from not having power, we're fine. We even have hot water (knock on wood, fingers crossed that's still the case). The biggest annoyance is realizing we're going to have to empty our entire fridge.

It's the final Grapes of Wrath readalong post! And I gotta say, I'm not sad this is done. Don't get me wrong, Grapes is an excellent work of literature with some truly beautiful moments. It's also insanely depressing and also Steinbeck needs to get off of his soapbox sometimes and realize things were shitty all over, so maybe quit painting the non-farms as evil soulless douchecanoes.

As with the other readalong posts, there will be spoilers. Be warned.

So you know how for some of my other Grapes posts I just did some random thoughts? That's happening again because I'm too drained to do anything coherent. Also I luckily wrote this on Sunday, or else you'd just have a post that says "I finished this. Yup".

- After pretty much everything Ma says to Pa in the beginning of chapter 26 I want to yell "Ooo buuurn". I should be in a '90s talk show audience
- So, I know there's no work and everyone's starving, but I still think leaving the Government camp is a bad idea...
- Whoa Casy's back! Aww Steinbeck thanks! This is aweso-OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM? WHY DID YOU CAVE HIS HEAD IN?
- And Tom killed another guy. Sorry, I used up all of my shock on Casy coming back and leaving again.
- Rosasharn, I know you're young and pregnant and scared and starving and your husband left you. But still, STFU
- Now the family has to flee cos of Tom killing that cop. Dammit Tom. Except it's hard to stay mad at you after what he did to Casy, but still.
- Ma is the best. Just in general. I'm going to need to repeat that a few more times.
- I was on the edge of my seat the whole time the family was leaving the camp with Tom hidden in the back. Thank you Steinbeck for not having Tom dragged off, as I assumed.
- The Joads found more work! I figured Steinbeck would have them wander the roads until they all starved, got run over by trucks. They even have a boxcar to live in instead of a tent, but they lost the hot water. And naturally the people at the farm are all "how dare you ask for hot water? Why would you think you're entitled to that?" because they're assholes.
 - Good for Tom, deciding that he should work to help the migrant workers. However, given his temper he's displayed throughout the whole book, his plan is probably going to work for roughly five minutes before he bludgeons someone to death again.
- Pa, I know you're sad that Ma is making all the decisions and you're supposed to be the Man of the house and blah blah blah. Maybe if you took charge at all, you could still be the one to lead. But when times are tough you just get quiet so Ma takes over. Because she is the best.
- Oh good, torrential rain. Nice contrast to the endless droughts that started the book. Now the family will get to drown instead of starve.
- Al, the family already lost Granma, Granpa, Tom, Casy, Noah, and Connie. Could you quit trying to abandon them, only-person-who-knows-how-to-drive/fix-the-damn-truck. You're not finding this garage to work in. If you found it, you'd be working in it. It's not like your family is keeping you from this job because they WANT you to work in the field.
- After telling the other kids about Tom (kinda) I was going to get mad at Ruthie. But then I realized she and Winfield (who haven't starved to death as of the end of the book! Small victories!) are sort of the only hope left. At least they still act like kids the whole time. If they had been broken, sort of like the kids at the Hooverville, then I don't know if I could have taken anymore.
- Of course the baby was born dead. Of course. Because Steinbeck hates us all.
- I'm having mixed feelings about the ending. Because on the one hand, Rosasharn completely makes up for anything annoying she did by feeding this dying old man. On the other hand wtf Steinbeck? I totally blocked that ending from memory in high school.
- So I guess Alfred the American spirit turtle isn't making a reappearance. Because the American spirit is dead. Thanks for that uplifting ending.

I'm happy I read this again (Thanks Laura!) because if nothing else, I'm now less intimidated to give East of Eden a try.