SparkNotes: The Grapes of Wrath

This San Francisco cobblestone street once had a grade of 27%, making it too steep for cars. In 1922, the grade was cut down to 16% and a switchback road was installed. The road now contains 8 switchbacks and 250 steps on either side of the one block.

When the Joad family’s car pulls into the border patrol, the officers ask to see Grandma.

John Steinbeck, born in 1902,
grew up during the Depression near the fertile Salinas Valley and
wrote many books of fiction based on his background and experiences
during that time and area of the country.

Book Analysis: Grapes of Wrath | John Steinbeck

Ma convinces the officers that Grandma is very ill and that she must be given aid.

"In the little houses the tenant people sifted their belongings
and the belongings of their father and of their grandfathers"
(Steinbeck 111).