Angry Grapes Essay

866 words - 4 pages

In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck shows how women are portrayed stereotypically, but he also contradicts himself at times. Steinbeck shows how men are considered strong, brave, in power, and show offs. In the beginning of the novel Steinbeck portrays women as how they were seen in the 1930s powerless and dependent on men, but as the story progresses the reader can start to notice changes. He portrays Ma as having power over the family. Even though Ma is different from other female characters, she still enjoys some of the same things. Steinbeck views women two different ways throughout the novel. Later on in the story, he switches, and starts to give a few women power. Usually women are ...view middle of the document...

Women never got into arguments with their husbands because the women of the 1930s are quiet and knew their place, “They watched Pa, waiting for him to break into fury. They watched his lax hands to see the fists form. And Pa’s anger did not rise, and his hands hung limply at his sides. And in the moment the group knew that Ma had won. And Ma knew it too” (Steinbeck 169). Pa knew that there was no point in trying to argue with her because he would lose anyways, since she was towering over him with power. Ma was not like the other women she had will power over the family everything she did was to try and keep the family together. Ma and Rose of Sharon work together to safe a guy’s life “She looked at Pa and Uncle John standing helplessly gazing at the sick man. She looked at Rose of Sharon huddled in the comfort. Ma’s eyes passed Rose of Sharon’s eyes, and then came back to them. And the two women looked deep into each other. The girl’s breath came short and gasping.”(Steinbeck 618). Usually men do not stand helplessly they are usually the ones to jump in action to help save a life.
Even though Steinbeck presents Ma has different she is also the same as other women. In the second camp the Joad family went to the director was talking to Tom...

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