Evaluation of the Characters in Director John Ford’s Grapes of Wrath

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John Ford’s dramatic film The Grapes of Wrath was released on March 15, 1940. This film was based on John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. This film follows the Joad family on their long trip to California. It watches as they lose their home and are left with no choice but to pack their necessities and set off. Though they had no idea where they were going, they had no choice but to keep on, hoping that somewhere along the line someone would have mercy on them and they would find some form of work. Though the list of influential characters presented within the film is a rather short one, each character plays at least a small part in the eventual outcome of the text, so having to select just one as the most critical proves to be shockingly difficult. However, upon further scrutiny it begins to become clear that one character holds a steady level of importance throughout the duration of the text. Ma Joad is the only character presented with a large amount of importance that remains consistent from the very beginning to the final moments of the film. Ma Joad emerges as the backbone of the film rather early on, paving the way for all of the significant events and decisions made within the text. Initially, there is a suggestion that Pa Joad was the leader and the provider of the family, and in the beginning, he was often looked toward as being the most significant member of the Joad family. In fact, Pa Joad was the one that plans the family’s trip to

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