The Grapes of Wrath is a fictional story based on real events witnessed and experienced by the author, John Steinbeck. It follows the life of the Joad family; a family directly affected by the Dust Bowl tragedy, and their journey to California in an attempt to leave their shattered life behind them and forge a new livelihood for themselves. At the start of their trek to California when the Joad's are packing up what they can fit into their decrepit vehicle, a change in the denomination of women's work sets the inevitable in motion. This event is when Reverend Casy (a man who is more of an ex-Reverend because he has lost his connection with God) offers to relieve Ma Joad of her job of salting th...
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...e settin' down, an' I'll knock you belly-up with a bucket. I swear to Holy Jesus' sake I will.' "(Pg. 230) Unlike Pa's threat, Ma's is one she intended to follow through on. The time for standing in the background and not having any say in the issues is over. Once Ma stands up for herself, the rest of the men relent and agree to Ma's terms to keep the family together.
In conclusion, the era of women being viewed as property eventually ceased to exist. The hard times generated new ideas and propelled women to the head of the families and in turn allowed them to create a better life for them and their families. Ma Joad's rise to power in her family shows just how effective this change was. If not for her uprising, Pa's ignorance of his power would have put the family in a much worse situation, and the path the family ventured on would have been far worse for them all.
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