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The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

1089 words - 5 pages

“A mother knows what her child has gone through, even if she didn’t see it herself” Pramoedya Ananta Toer. The relationship between a mother and her child is said to be the strongest bond that two people can have. I asked my mother what it was like to give birth to another human being and she said that “Having the opportunity and privilege to bring another human into this world is the highest honor and gift a person can do” Michele Dieterich. In the book,The Grapes of Wrath, Ma Joad acts as the maternal character throughout the book and relates to the theme of families stick together.
During the Great Depression, there was a massive migration from rural areas to more populated areas. ...view middle of the document...

Ma keeps Grandma’s death a secret because she knows that it is for the good of the family. When the Joad family’s car pulls into the border patrol, the officers ask to see Grandma. Ma convinces the officers that Grandma is very ill and that she must be given aid. The officers believe Ma and let the Joad family pass. If the police had found the dead body, it would have taken a toll on the Joad family. Ma keeps the secret of Grandma’s death in order to allow her family to successfully cross to California. “All we got is the family unbroke…I ain’t scared while we’re all here, all that’s alive, but I ain’t gonna see us bust up,” ( Steinbeck 219) This quote shows that all Ma Joad cares about is family. Whether or not people die or leave, as long as people are with her and are seen as a part of the family, then Ma believes she has done her job.
Tom Joad is known for getting himself into trouble. When Tom finds Jim Casey in the woods near Weedpatch, Jim fills Tom in on how the government are cutting the wages of the jobs. Jim tells Tom about their revolution and during this scene, local police show up and fight the revolutionists. Tom gets badly hurt with cuts all over his face and ends up escaping from the police. Ma hides Tom in their house to make sure nothing bad happens to him. Ma protects her children and her family because she knows that one weak chain can break a whole family. It becomes Ma’s duty to keep the family together by hiding Tom.
Maternal characters take care of others, before they take care of themselves. In the Grapes of Wrath, when Tom decides to leave the family, Ma becomes greatly concerned. This shows that Ma is looking out for the greater good of Tom, before looking at her own needs. Throughout the whole journey, Ma tries to keep the family together in every which way. However, Ma knew that Tom was bringing darkness onto the family. Tom seems to always find trouble, and that would risk the safety of the...

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