Weakness in Men in the Grapes of Wrath

1216 Words Apr 24th, 2011 5 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…
As the novel continues, the weaknesses in the male characters become more conspicuous. Steinbeck narrates the story of Uncle Joad, one of the males in the Joad family. In the past when his wife complains of stomach pain he stubbornly declines her request for a doctor, shortly after this lead to her death. Since then Uncle John has not been able to let go of the past. This “marked him with guilt and shame and had left an unbreaking loneliness on him”(Steinbeck 131). Stuck in the past, Uncle John is unable to provide for the family instead the opposite is required in order for his survival.
Grampa Joad looses his superior status early on in the novel, “…he no longer ruled. His position was honorary and matter of custom” (Steinbeck 137). He later on further breaks down, as the Joad family is about to leave for their trip to California. He refuses to leave ‘his land’, leading the rest of his famiy to put him to sleep with “soothin’ sirup’. Not far along the unforgiving drive the Joad family makes their first stop to camp at, there they meet the Wilsons. As the family gets out of the jalopy, “without earning Grampa began to cry, his chin wavered and his old lips tightened over his mouth and he sobbed hoarsely…” and Uncle John said, “…he ain’t never done that before. Never seen him blubberin’ in my life.” (Steinbeck 185). Soon after as Grampa rests in the
Open Document