Four Powerful Women in Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

1486 Words 6 Pages
One of the most important attributes seldom attributed to women is the innate ability to keep the family as a cohesive whole. Women are the rock in the midst of familial turmoil, the solid foundation on which a husband or head of a household can stand firm. Fully assured that womanhood will stand back of the ranks and take care of domestic needs. Women have qualities that keep the family strong, these unique attributes can divided into several standards. One being the physical aspect of “mother” nature, two virginity representing the religious type of the standard, three is the young bitch who represent the physical state while four is the old bitch who also has a spiritual side of the woman standard. In the Grapes of Wrath by J. …show more content…
Though it goes unsaid it is recognized and a known fact that, “ma was powerful in the group” and they often times consulted her in times of big decision making endeavors (133). She was often sought by the men in the family know how to react in certain situations. Steinbeck used the cliché, “When mama is happy, everybody is happy”. If Ma was unhappy the whole family was unhappy. Ma understood this cliché well enough to know that she must control her reaction and emotions. . Ma's "...full face was not soft; it was controlled kindly" because she knows she is the role model in her family. When Tom left to go to jail, she had to control her real feelings toward missing him because she doesn't want the family to be upset as well. Al explains to Tom "she mourned when you was gone. Done it all to herself. Kinda cryin' down inside of her through. We could tell what she was thinkin' about, though" they knew how she was felling even though she tried to hide it (227). Ma’s dream is to see her family live in happiness and prosper though it is not in her control. To let your kids live on their own and make their own decisions is the hardest thing for a mother to do. Ma’s true character is shown when she allows Rose of Sharon to make her own decision: “Ma's eyes passed Rose of Sharon's eyes, and then came back to them. And the two women looked deep into each other.