Weakness in Men in the Grapes of Wrath

1210 WordsApr 18, 20115 Pages
Weakness in Men in The Grapes of Wrath Sexual inequality can be traced throughout history. Since centuries ago the male populations have been perceived as the ones with less weakness and flaws, they were almost even deemed as superior. Kings were often regarded as the chosen ones over the queens, additionally, in many locations including Greece and early America only male could vote. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, male characters of the Joad family; Pa, a collapsed leader, Uncle John, a blameworthy shameful husband, and Grampa, an aged fragile progenitor, develops into dependent, vulnerable followers allowing the women in the fragile family to step up and take over. Steinbeck utilizes this juxtaposition to demote men’s…show more content…
Steinbeck portrays that women get stronger while moving, but men start a process of weakness. This is because the land is where the men get their strength, Ma Joad gets this from the union of the family. Ma has the skills that Pa, Uncle John, and Grampa does not, she is able to adapt to the new alien environment and persist. Steinbeck utilizes this juxtaposition of Pa, Uncle John, and Grampa against Ma, in order to prove the equality of both sexes. Both male and females are needed to overcome obstacles and maintain balance in life. In conclusion, throughout the novel The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck attempts to shatter the traditional thoughts of inequality between the male and female population. By using the juxtaposition from the novel in which fragile weak and flawed males abound; Pa, Uncle John, and Grampa, against the dominate, authoritative, and independent Ma. Throughout the novel as the males fall apart like their dusty farms, Ma tries her best to guide the Joad family back into the conventional safe home, proving women’s strength through rough times. Bibliography Cederstrom, Lorelei. The ‘Great Mother’ in The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck and the Environment: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Ed. Susan F. Beegel, Susan Shillinglaw, and Wesley N. Tiffney, Jr. University of Alabama Press, 1997. 76-91. Rpt. In Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 124. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Literature

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