The Grapes of Wrath Muley Quotes

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If you are reading ''The Grapes of Wrath'', you may have missed out on Muley since he pops up out of nowhere and then disappears just as quickly. In this lesson we will take a look at some of Mueley's important quotes.

We All Know a Muley

If you have a friend or an acquaintance who is a good person, but tends to ramble on, you will find a familiar face in Muley from The Grapes of Wrath. By looking at his quotes, we can get a good idea of his personality.

A Rambling Response

We first meet Muley when Tom (the ex-prisoner) and Casy (the ex-preacher) are sitting near Tom's house wondering where everyone went. When Tom sees Muley, he asks him where his parents are. Instead of answering, Muley goes on a rambling spiel about the last time he saw Tom's mom and dad. Muley starts off almost focused enough with '''By God, it's lucky I come by!''' But then, it seems that he just can't help himself and says, '''Cause ol' Tom worried himself. When they was fixin' to move I was settin' in the kitchen there. I jus' tol' Tom I wan't gonna move, by God. I tol' him that, an' Tom says, 'I'm worryin' myself about Tommy. S'pose he comes home an' they ain't nobody here. What'll he think?' I says, 'Whyn't you write down a letter?''' He goes on for a little longer until Tom asks again, impatiently, '''Where's my folks?''' Muley goes on another ramble about how Tom's parents planned to stick around. Once again, Tom asks where his parents are, and Muley responds with yet another ramble, finally ending in '''They're all at your Uncle John's.''' These quotes are prime examples of Muley's rambling, but somewhat helpful, nature.

Stubborn Muley

Another quote from Muley, revealing a harder, more stubborn side, is when he talks about how the farmers have been kicked off their land. He explains, '''Them dirty sons-a-bitches. I tell ya, men, I'm stayin'. They ain't gettin' rid a me. If they throw me off, I'll come back.''' In other words, he is angry at the landowners and is stubbornly clinging to his land. Later on, he says this even more blatantly when he comments '''But them sons-a-bitches says I got to get off--an', Jesus Christ, a man can't, when he's tol' to!''' In a positive light, these quotes also show that Muley is willing to fight and stick up for what he believes in, even when he is standing alone.

Muley's Thoughts on Sharing His Food

Later on, when Tom, Muley and Casy decide to camp out for the night, Tom asks Muley if he will share the rabbits he caught for food. Muley replies '''I ain't got no choice in the matter.''' At first, this may sound like Muley is complaining about sharing, but he quickly explains that what he is trying to say is that if someone is hungry, there is no way he can just leave and eat on his own. This quote shows that Muley is thoughtful and that he understands the needs of others. He is also willing to put the needs of his friends before his own.

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