Grapes of Wrath

Topics: The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Henry Fonda Pages: 3 (1195 words) Published: September 14, 2013
Grapes of Wrath Long Research essay
One of the greatest historical fiction novels written, The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck, is not only vividly descriptive, but includes incredibly complex themes, allowing the reader to delve into the meaning endlessly. One of these themes discusses the liberation of women for men in the novel, a complex subject that Steinbeck envelopes in his story almost discreetly. The two main women in the novel that liberate them selves from men are Ma Joad and Rose of Sharon, neither liberation is extremely evident but both are complex. Ma Joad is a wonderfully complex character in the Grapes of Wrath. In the very beginning of the novel Steinbeck states that she is a citadel, the center and last defense of the family. She is often known as the person who holds the Joads together through all the trials they face on their journey. Ma joad experienced liberation, in the case that she fills the role of Pa. It was never Ma Joads intention to take Pa Joads place in the family hierarchy, yet this is what happened when Pa could no longer fill his role. This was because Ma Joad cared for the wellness of others, all her goals were based on her family and wanting the best for them. On the other hand Pa Joads goals were very selfish and were very self-centered, based on proving his masculinity to his household and his community. Pa however failed in his attempts, with the car Ma Joad held the tools and worked, and Steinbeck wrote “Pa’s hands hung there limply”. That quote is a very major quote in the switching of Ma and Pa Joads roles, it states that his hands hung limply as if he was incapable and almost of no use. Throughout the novel, Ma is the one that tells the family to find work, she finds solutions, and not only does she feed her family, but she also tried to share what was left with other migrants in search of food. Even at the end of the novel Ma also proves to be able to bear the troubles and worries of her fellow family...

Bibliography: 1) “John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and Rose of Sharon’s Transformation.” 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <>.
2) Heavilin, Barbara A. "Add a Shared Note." The Age of the Clans: The Highlands from Somerled to the Clearances by Robert Dodgshon. Greenwood Press, 2000. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <>.
3) Durst Johnson, Claudia. "Understanding the Grapes of Wrath." Questia. Green Press, 1999. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <>.
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