Chapter 22

After the burning of their camp by deputies and local men wearing trench helmets and American Legion caps, the Joads decide that they do not want to be pushed around anymore. Tom is afraid of his reactions with these men who take decency away from people. He decides to drive to Weed Patch, a government camp near Bakerfield. There, deputies are not allowed in, except if they have a warrant.

At first, they are suspicious of the interest they get, but as they settle in, they learn about the welcome committee, other committees, the rules of the camp, hot showers and flushing toilets, and trading goods or rent for labor in the camp. The water runs hot, the camp is organized and the camp manager stops by to make sure that everything is ok.

Camp Manager

The camp is full now and they meet other people, each with stories, characters, passions, illnesses, joy and sorrow. The camp has a life of its own. There is even a full story on the disappearance of toilet paper in Number Four Sanitary Unit….

All the great, little and funny things that make life in the camp.

Tom finds a small job during the night, only to realize that even his nice new boss is not immune from the bank’s pressure on the Farmers’ Association. He will get paid twenty five cents instead of thirty, as the bank decides that “the wage is twenty five now.”

The Joads feel that they could stay in the camp for a while…but the men want to make sure that they find a job around there.