The Destruction Of The Family In Tom Joad's The Grapes Of Wrath

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For hundreds of years women have been restricted to roles tied to the household and family, while the men have been deemed the breadwinners or sole income for the family and household. During the 1930s, the United States went through an economic crisis known as the Great Depression caused by the crash of the stock market and affected families across the country. During this time, Oklahoma, Texas, and a few surrounded states were hit by massive dust storms that swept across acres of farmland and agriculture, nicknaming this time the “Dirty Thirties”(wiki). The storms occurred because the states were experiencing a drought and the farmers were unaware of how to properly care for their land under these conditions, causing clouds of dust to surround…show more content…
The author includes small sections inside the book that focus on the entire situation rather than the one family, these sections give further description on the dust bowl situation and offer metaphors to link to the story while reading. The Joad's are a family consisting of two young children, three women, and seven men who have been entirely affected by the storm and are making their way to California. Tom Joad, the lead male character, is released from jail after serving a short murder sentence and he discovers his family farm has been abandoned, he later finds them and the family prepares for their travels. With little to no possessions or money remaining, warnings of none existing jobs, unkind encounters with strangers, and a couple family deaths, they make their way from camp to camp where small jobs were provided. Lack of work and continuing hardships forced the family to keep moving, looking for any source of income and a secure shelter. This wasn't uncommon for most of the people and families living during this time most were very desperate for any type of income or

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