Grapes Of Wrath Gender Roles Essay

1158 WordsOct 11, 20175 Pages
In the 20th century, the average home life in rural Oklahoma was full of hard workers in the pursuit of the picture-perfect home surrounded by plentiful land. As the sun rises over the land in the morning with a red hue, it signals the commencement of the day ahead. The farmer has already been awake since before the sun broke the horizon, preparing his little equipment and his animals for his land’s work. The farmer’s wife is in the kitchen, cooking her husband a warm breakfast as a sign of her gratitude. Their children wake, running into the kitchen, bellies growling. After gobbling up the breakfast, they run outside to play and do chores of their own. The rest of the farmer’s wife’s day is spent cleaning, cooking, and looking after the…show more content…
He proposes the satisfaction of life for women sprouts from the man being satisfied. As Steinbeck introduces the character of Ma, she is perceived as outgoing and lively. She often gets excited, yet her main focus is always to take care of her family. Her husband, introduced as Pa, is the head of the household alongside his brother, Uncle John, and his father, Grampa. When Grampa passes away, Uncle John and Pa take over the family. However, though Pa is technically the head of the family, Ma isn’t afraid to speak against him. After the men suggest splitting up and traveling to California separately so Tom and Casy can stay behind to assist the Wilsons, Pa decides it should be that way. Ma, however, refuses the journey, to which Pa is surprised. “And now Ma’s mouth set hard. She said softly, ‘On’y way you gonna get me to go is whup me… An’ I’ll shame you, Pa. I won’t take no whuppin’, cryin’ an’ a-beggin’.’” (Steinbeck 184). This shows Ma as a strong female character, testing the assumption Steinbeck leads the reader to conclude about the order of men and women in the first chapter. To any surrounding patriarchal character, this could be seen as a woman defying her husband, but from a different view, it can be seen that it is a woman voicing her valid opinion. Though Pa tries to offer a justification of Ma’s sudden revolt on his favor, he quickly loses the battle before he gets the chance to stand up for himself. Ma’s daughter,

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