This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Mother Roles In The Novels The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1240 words - 5 pages

The definition of the word “mother” according to the dictionary is “a female parent,” (“Mother,” 2011) but the way society views a mother is more. A mother isn’t simply a woman who gave birth to a child, but a woman who can raise, comfort, and care for their child. A mother’s job changes depending on what social standing they are in and what time they live in. Because of the different social classes and time periods of Daisy and Ma live in, their roles as the mother in the novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath greatly differ in their responsibility in their family, their treatment of their children, and their family morals, with Ma outshining Daisy as a true mother.
While Daisy’s responsibility in her family is very small and separated, Ma’s responsibilities are very vital to her family. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy didn’t have any real responsibilities. Her basic role in life was to play the “happy trophy wife” for Tom. She is almost a possession of his, like a new car. A perfect example of Daisy’s role in her family is when she is first introduced, “The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up…The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise – she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression – then she laughed,” (Fitzgerald, 2008). In this scene, Daisy and Miss Baker are laying on the couch just looking beautiful, like objects on a shelf might. Fitzgerald even demonstrates their weak femininity by showing that Daisy isn’t quite strong enough to sit up on her own. Daisy’s actions in this scene display her reliance on her husband. Her job in the family is to look pretty and to pretend not to notice Tom’s infidelity. Daisy has no responsibility for her child, and as far as she’s concerned, taking care of Pammy is the nanny’s job. Ma’s jobs on the other hand, are very essential to her family. She does all of the cooking, housework, and nurturing that you would think of as a mother doing, “Ma served them greens and side-meat in tin plates. But before Ma ate, she put the big round wash tub on the stove and started the fire to roaring” (Steinbeck, 2006). Ma not only cooks and serves her family dinner; she also makes sure all chores are done before she eats. Her responsibility is to be there for her kids, and for the family as a whole. The differences between the responsibilities of Ma and Daisy stem from the social classes they reside in. While Daisy is in the upper class, where society expects a nanny to raise the children, Ma is in a lower class that expects a mother to be doing all the work of fostering a family.
Daisy treats Pammy like a toy, whereas Ma treats her children with all the respect and love she has in her. Daisy doesn’t love her daughter as much as you would expect a mother should, and this is partially because she probably felt obligated to have a daughter. Daisy uses her daughter, “That’s because your mother wanted to show you...

Find Another Essay On Mother Roles in the Novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

Failures of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1290 words - 5 pages An effortless quote, just a few words put together in a sentence, can often perfectly explain the backbone of some stories. Oscar Wilde's simple, seven worded sentence, "Ambition is the last refuge of failure" perfectly articulates basic ideas of both The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (“Oscar wilde quotes”, 2010). The characters in both books are searching for the figurative Eden of the time, the

Masculinity portrayed in the Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Glass Menagerie

713 words - 3 pages Masculinity is a well known stereotype that often defines men as being tough, strong, and having no emotions. In most cases, their work tends to identify their level of masculinity. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the male characters create their identities through their abilities to provide for their families. In these three texts, the males

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

974 words - 4 pages makes the weakest link plummet. The true American Dream can be chased, but exists if and only if the one trying for it can accept failure and move on. This continually presents itself in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Taking place in the height of the Great Depression, Grapes depicts the Joads, a family with no wealth that loses everything due to foreclosure and repossession. This family

Love between Social Classes in The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby

1670 words - 7 pages Fitzgerald put forth in their novels, The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby, are not exceptions. Specifically, the theme of love across social classes shines through both novels, exhibited in the ineffable drive to lend oneself to another person of a lower class deserving of help. The ineffable love that shines through both novels does not just span the separation of social class, but it does so silently, with no trace of its beginning except

Essay comparing The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath - Year 13 English - Essay

1445 words - 6 pages seen in The Great Gatsby (1925) in which Fitzgerald has his protagonist Jay Gatsby relentlessly pursue Daisy out of his personal interest, ignoring her own familial community with Tom and their daughter. By contradt, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) sees Tom Joad transform from a staunch individualist to a man who is ‘Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people eat’. We see in American literature that personal interest is set above the needs of

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

1196 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath are superb models of individual and settings’ contrasting elements. Each novel is respectively set in different decades and both serve as foils of another. In regards to the “American Dream,’’ Great Gatsby and Grapes of Wrath are examples of two separate, yet similar paths of this vision; Gatsby is the respective “Promised land” and contrastingly, Grapes is “hell on

The Grapes Of Wrath: Connections To The Great Depression

1573 words - 6 pages The Grapes of Wrath: Connections to the Great Depression The decaying state of the American economy and the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s brought about the necessity for the United States to reconsider its attitudes and examine the long term effects of its policies concerning wide-scale socioeconomic problems that were constantly growing bigger. The Great Depression led to the creation of many new and innovative government

the american dream failure. grapes of wrath and gatsby - High school english - essay

977 words - 4 pages anything can be achieved. In both novels- The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath you can see how all characters are attempting to complete their dream and how inevitably they nearly all lead to disappointment. In Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, Jay Gatsby himself has the most ambition for his dream. Nick Carraway describes it as an “extraordinary gift for hope” that was “never found in any other person”. He made it his goal to win back the love of his

The Great Depression in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1767 words - 8 pages The Grapes of Wrath is a realist novel that was written by John Steinbeck in the year 1939. The book has gained critical acclamation around the world to result in awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for fiction and culminated by winning the Nobel Prize in the year 1962. The book was set by the author during the Great Depression in the United States, which has been used to highlight the challenges and experiences of American

Gender Roles in the Roaring 1920s: An Examination of the Women of The Great Gatsby

2258 words - 9 pages wealthy socialites, aside from Tom Buchanan. When Myrtle mentions getting a dog for the apartment, and says, “They’re nice to have, a dog” (Gatsby 26) the dog becomes various metaphors at different moments. The dog is Tom Buchanan, Myrtle, Nick, money, and their entire relationship, the way a single room in a house can be of different uses to the people living in it. As Michael Pottorf examines in his essay, “The Great Gatsby: Myrtle's Dog And

The Grapes of Wrath

865 words - 4 pages How has the figure of the traditional American hero changed in The Grapes of Wrath? The Grapes of Wrath was written John Steinbeck, it was published in 1939. Steinbeck was interested in social and economic issues, the Grapes of Wrath is set during The Great Depression in America and follows one migrant farming families struggle. The southern states where farming was high such as Oklahoma, Arkansa, Texas and Nebraska were badly affected

Similar Essays

The American Dream As Shown In The Novels The Grapes Of Wrath And The Great Gatsby

572 words - 2 pages America: a land of endless wealth, and the dream; a dream of endless opportunity, is not depicted as such in the books The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby. The Dream is instead portrayed as hypocritical in the assumption that spiritual satisfaction is always accompanied material gain.In The Great Gatsby America is shown as a land of dreams that is undeniably corrupted by materialism to such a degree that even the image of god (the blue eyes

Greed In The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages The Modernist movement took place in a time of happiness, a time of sadness, a time of objects, a time of saving, a time of prosperity, a time of poverty and in a time of greed. Two novels, written by Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, portray this underlying greed and envy better than most novels of that period. These novels, The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, show that despite the difference between the 1920s and the 1930s, greed remained a

The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages wealth, leaving the most valuable wealth, morality, behind. But even more sinister are those who have everything but want more. The worthless crowd of millionaires, the owners of The Bank in The Grapes of Wrath and Tom, Daisy, and Jordan in The Great Gatsby, cheats the common man for its own benefit. Its mind, overflowing with materialistic ideas, does not stop to think about others when there is money involved. Its thirst for riches is a beast; it

The Role Of Female Characters In American Literature: The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1166 words - 5 pages . Looking at the time periods in which these novels were written and take place, it is clear that these gender roles greatly influence whether a female character displays independence or dependence. From a contemporary viewpoint, readers can see how these women either fit or push the boundaries of these expected gender roles. Works Cited Becarry. (2008). The Art of the Great Gatsby. Retrieved from http://bigread08.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/the-art-of-the-great-gatsby/ Fitzgerald, F. S. (2004). The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons Steinbeck, J. (2006). The Grapes of Wrath. New York, NY: Penguin Group.