CHAPTER 6: To Fight or Flee to a New Land?
Chapter 6 opens with Tom and The Reverend Casy discovering the destruction of the Joad homestead. "The small unpainted house was mashed at one corner, and it had been pushed off its foundations so that it slumped at an angle..." The destruction can be compared to a land that has been invaded by a foreign enemy. Do those under siege turn and fight, or is it better to move on to a more promising world? Or, as Muley does, to wander aimlessly around the land surviving as best he can off the remaining critters in the land. This is discussed as they cook a rabbit.
As a younger man, Tom went to prison for killing in self defense. Now he faces the choice to confront the deputy or go and hide. Casey ends up convincing Tom to hide so he doesn't end up risking breaking parole. These choices aren't easily made. Casy, in the last paragraph of the chapter states, "I ain't sleepin'. I got too much to puzzle with"....gradually the skittering life of the ground, of holes and burrows, of the brush, began again; the gophers moved, and the rabbits crept to green things, the mice scampered over clods, and the winged hunters moved soundlessly overhead."