The Grapes Of Wrath Essay

The Grapes Of Wrath Essay - Marinez 1 Sophia Marinez Mrs....

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Marinez 1 Sophia Marinez Mrs. Cichocki American Studies 1 st -2 nd hour January 28, 2009 The Changing of the Grapes In the 1930’s, the roles of women were strictly held to cleaning, cooking, and taking care of their children. The men, on the other hand, were the providers and leaders of the family. Men were the power of the family and on top of the family hierarchy, while the women were below the men and the children below the women. Men provided for their families by farming and cropping their lands. However, when the Dustbowl occurred many families were evicted from their homes. In the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, the Joad family resided on a farm where they were evicted because their land became unproductive from the damaging effects of the Dustbowl. In result, the financially stricken Joad family had to travel to California where the men would search for jobs. When the Joad family lived on their land, Pa, Uncle John, Grandpa, Tom, and Al were the leaders of the family. Under them came the women, Ma, Grandma, and Rose of Sharon. Then came the children, Ruthie and Winfield. This style of family hierarchy was normal for this period of time, but after facing the disposition from their land and having to migrate to the modernized society of California this style of hierarchy changed. The power shift from man to women occurred while on this trip. Up until the Dustbowl period, men had all of the power over their families. Since they were on top of the family hierarchy, the women and children obeyed all orders from the men and
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Marinez 6 faced serious repercussions if they did not. If the men broke, the whole family broke. “Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole,” (Stienbeck 4). Women and children closely observed the men for a break because they knew that if the men where complete, the family would make it through the challenges. Because the women always relied on the men, the family was centered around them. At the start of the trip, the men were the center of the Joad family. When the family held meetings, Pa, Uncle John, and Grandpa were always in the center. “Pa squatted there…Uncle John moved toward him…
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2010 for the course ENGLISH econ201 taught by Professor Hamilton during the Spring '10 term at Goshen.

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The Grapes Of Wrath Essay - Marinez 1 Sophia Marinez Mrs....

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