Grapes Of Wrath Hero Analysis

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In “The Grapes of Wrath”, John Steinbeck developed Ma Joad as the matriarchal hero of the story. Ma Joad exhibited her matriarchal heroism in many ways throughout the story. She endowed people with hope, took on leadership roles, and kept the family bonded together. As the Joad family drove towards California with the Wilsons. Their car broke down. Tom Joad, knowing that if the family, and the Wilsons waited for the car to be fixed. It would consequentially waste their resources. As a result, Tom suggested that he’d stay behind with Casy to fix the car while the rest of the group continue towards California. All of the men, including Pa Joad, Uncle John, Mr.Wilson, and Al Joad agreed with Tom’s plan. Ma Joad suddenly steps in and says, “I…show more content…
They met a child, and his father whom was very weak and on the verge of death. The boy pleaded for Ma’s help. She replied "You jus' be easy. He'll be awright. You jus' wait'll I get them wet clo'es off'n my girl." The men stay silent instead of intervening to help out the father. The boy then impatiently cries, "He's dyin', I tell you! He's starvin' to death, I tell you. (454)" With authority, Ma replies, “Hush(454).” Steinbeck then writes ,“She looked at Pa and Uncle John standing helplessly gazing at the sick man.” Ma at the moment is expecting the men to do something. But instead they stay silent. Ma then looks at Rose asking her to breastfeed the poor man, which Rose replies in agreement. This moment truly exemplifies Ma’s leadership in this family as well as the matriarchal culture the family adapted. The leadership Ma showed, saved the father’s life and gave the boy hope knowing that his father would live another day. In the beginning of the “Grapes of Wrath” we saw the men act as leaders. Moreover patriarchy seemed to be how the Joad family operated. As the Joad family moved further away from home. The leadership role the men once held were taken over by Ma. Conversely led to the patriarchal family now being led by a woman, Ma Joad. Ma Joad not only took a leadership role but proved that she could be a hero to those around her. Whether it be inspiring hope or keeping a family together. Undertaking a role that was very demanding; Ma Joad executed it
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