Awesome: The Grapes of Wrath

  • Tom Joad's speech. Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen both thought it was awesome and both wrote songs about it. Guthrie's song, "Tom Joad" was made available on his album Dust Bowl Ballads.
  • Ma Joad has her very own Crowning Moment of Awesome. With a jack handle.
    Tom drew his lips over his teeth and then snapped them open. He spread his hands helplessly and let them flop against his sides. "Pa," he said, "if you was to rush her one side an' me the other an' then the res' pile on, an' Granma jump down on top, maybe we can get Ma 'thout more'n two-three of us gets killed with that there jack handle. But if you ain't willin' to get your head smashed, I guess Ma's went an' filled her flush. Jesus Christ, one person with their mind made up can shove a lot of folks aroun'! You win, Ma. Put away that jack handle 'fore you hurt somebody."
  • Rose of Sharon's breastfeeding of the dying man is listed under Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but it could also go here in that we see someone who had spent the rest of the book being selfish and only concerned with herself finally decide to apply herself to help the needy as her family has done.