Making Hard Choices in The Grapes of Wrath

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Making Hard Choices in The Grapes of Wrath

In literature as in life, people often find that they must make difficult choices in order to survive. The reasons behind their decisions and the results of their subsequent actions affect our opinion of them. In the Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, the author portrayed situations where two main characters became involved. The nature of their choices, the reasons behind their decisions, and the results that followed affected them greatly. However, the choices that they made were surmounted successfully. Ma Joad and Tom Joad are two strong characters who overcame laborious predicaments. Their powerful characteristics helped to encourage those that were struggling.

In fact, one principal character who was involved in a difficult situation was Ma Joad. She was a wife and mother whose only occupation in life was a housewife. She lived in an unfair time period; women were forced to do almost everything that the man commanded. However, Ma Joad was different. Ever since the family traveled to California, she slowly began to take charge. This was first seen when Tom, Ma’s son, suggested that the family continue driving while he and Casy, the preacher, stayed behind to fix the Wilson’s (a family the Joads met on their way to California) automobile. Ma Joad was furious with this idea. She brought out a jack handle and said, “ ‘You done this ‘thout thinkin’ much. What we got lef ‘in the world’? Nothin’ but us. Nothin’ but the folks…An’ now, right off, you wanna bust up the folks’ “ (Steinbeck 218). Ma J...

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...s can make a person do unbelievable things. Although he was still an outlaw of society at the end of the book, his status changed immensely. Throughout the novel, he experienced reeducation and rebirth. He became a new man who fought for social amelioration and a better way of life for his people and for all struggling people. Tom learned that a man cannot just look after himself; in the spirit of compassion, he is also obligated to help others.

In literature as well as in life always find themselves making difficult choices. However, their decisions and actions can greatly affect the outcome. In The Grapes of Wrath, we learned that the characters also found themselves in tough predicaments. Nevertheless, the nature of their choices helped to make a triumphant result. Ma and Tom made hard decisions and survived.

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