Character Analysis Of Ma Joad In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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The job of a mother automatically comes with sacrifice. The mindset of a mother shifts to where her paramount priority is her family. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Ma Joad sacrifices herself and her emotions in order to keep the hopes of the family to be fulfilled. Although the world and her seem to be crumbling down, Ma Joad is still able to keep the family together. Through her emotional and physical sacrifices, Ma Joad proves that her family is what she treasures most.
At the beginning of the book, Ma Joad was able to give up materialistic items for her family. The house and land they owned is no longer in their possession. With their hearts set on the journey to California, the Joad family had to give up their belongings. Ma Joad has a moment where she reminisces about a stationary box filled with items that have sentimental value. There is not enough room on the truck, so she burns some of the items. The author states, “She lifted the stove lid and laid the box gently among the coals. Quickly the heat browned the paper. A flame licked up and over the box” (Steinback 73). She places the box in
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She tells Tom that he has to leave. Although she loves Tom, she has to think of what it best for the whole family. As stated, “‘Good-by,’ she said, and she walked quickly away. Her eyes were wet and burning, but she did not cry” (Steinback 289). The quote shows that even though she did not want to let go of Tom, she still had to for the sake of the rest of the family. Keeping him would jeopardize the hard work that they have achieved this whole journey and cause the people to hunt for Tom. Ma truly cherished Tom, but he was just going to be trouble for the rest of the Joads. Letting go of Tom benefits both Tom and the family because Tom sets off onto a new path that Casy left him. Although Tom is part of the Joads, Ma feels that him leaving will benefit the majority of the Joad
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