The Grapes Of Wrath Family Analysis

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Ma is like the Backbone of the Joad Family In the book “The Grapes of Wrath”. John Steinbeck, an American author, asserts the idea that going through hard times can show the meaninglessness of traditional family structures/gender roles through the character Ma. He first supports this claim by showing when the men make a decision but Ma rebels and ultimately makes the choice. “‘I tell you, you got to go. We made up our mind’. And now Ma’s mouth set hard. She said softly, ‘On’y way you gonna get me to go is whip me.’” (230) It shows how Ma is against the mens’ decision because she doesn’t want to split up the family and she knows that would make everything harder than it already is. Next, “The eyes of the whole family shifted back to Ma. She was the power. She had taken control.” (231) This is when Ma ultimately realizes that she has power and can make decisions without the men. “Pa’s lost his place. He ain’t the head no more.” (536) This quote shows additional explanation to how the gender role can change under stress and pressure.…show more content…
Well this subject was explained very well by Steinbeck throughout the whole book of “The Grapes of Wrath”. When the family is settled at a camp, Ruthie begins to be needy and wants things because she is tired of just having the bare minimum, but Ma won’t let anything slide. “Ruthie heard the threat in Ma’s tone, and changed her tactics.” (615) For a further image and explanation, this also shows how Ma had to also become the disciplinary figure in the family. Someone might think, well Pa is still the man in the family, so he still has say, but as this quote explains, it is the exact opposite. “Pa’s lost his place. He ain’t the head no more.” (536) To conclude this, everything Steinbeck illustrates to the reader can suggest that Ma is truly like the backbone of the Joad
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