The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

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In the novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck crafts many different characters throughout the novel with a variety of symbolic and mythic meanings. These characters help contribute to the themes and symbols in the novel and with all the different traits these characters have, they bring more complexity to the story. In the novel, the Joad family goes on a long journey from Oklahoma to California since they lost their land. One character who strongly contributes to this journey is Ma Joad. She is a strong loving woman who is the backbone of the family. Like any other mother, she provides comfort, nourishment and support. She is not only caring, but strong and calm which helps keep the family together. She is not only seen as “the epitome of motherhood”, but uses her knowledge to show the leadership role in the family. All of these positive traits in Ma Joad symbolizes a strong female mythic figure with many traits one can admire. Ma Joad is seen as the most wise and caring female role in John Steinbeck 's The Grapes of Wrath. There are two other strong woman figures this novel that help add depth to the story. Granma and Rose of Sharon, Ma’s daughter, are all positively impacted by Ma Joad throughout the story and they both are inspired and comforted by her. According to an article “A Study of Female Characterization in Steinbeck’s Fiction”, Author Sandra Beatty states, “Ma Joad epitomizes what Steinbeck seems to view as a distinctly female wisdom” (6). All of these characters all play family roles including mother, wife, or both. Rose of Sharon is pregnant so she looks up to Ma Joad for motherly advice. She begins to see life from Ma’s and she immensely learns from her. Once their trip to California took place, Rose of Sharo... ... middle of paper ... ...compassion causes her to lose essentials for her family, but it is rewarding because she is helping those in need. Ma’s generosity helps not only herself and family, but strangers as well. Ma Joad heavily influences the lives of everyone around her. Her traits and skills are helpful to her family especially when they need it the most. Her strength is useful when everyone is weak and wants to give up. Her motivation and strength makes her the unofficial leader of the family that strives through difficult times. She can handle situations and conform to everyone 's needs to help the trip run smoothly. Not only is she a strong leader, but a caring mother as well. She does all she can though this journey so she can help the ones she loves. With a wondrous mix of strength, courage, generosity and love, Ma Joad is powerful mythical woman figure one woman can aspire to be.

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