Grapes Of Wrath Essay

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Grapes of Wrath Essay Chaofan Yuan At the onset of the novel, a dark and ominous storm is forming in the distance. The times of prosperity from an earlier decade have passed. “Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole,” (p. 4), but years of planting cotton and tobacco have caused the land to become barren with dust. Each time the wind blew, “Men stood by their fences and looked at the ruined corn, drying fast,” (p. 3). No matter how hard the men struggled, with their plows, horses and cattle, no matter how much sweat fell onto the land, their toil was for naught. At the end of the day, “the dust was long in settling back again,” (p. 2). The man alone cannot keep the family afloat on his own. Drastic times called for drastic measures, and the women were not able to just sit and watch their men continue to grasp onto something that was blown away with the dust. Men like Grandpa and Muleyrefused to let go of the agrarian life style that supported their families for generations, and thus, they died with their land. It was the women the possessed the versatility with which to adapt and survive the changing times. As the hearts of the men gave out, it was the women who kept up the struggle. For the Joad family, Ma and Rose of Sharon stood up and took the reins, as Noah stepped out ofthe family, Uncle John lost himself, and Tom became a fugitive. It is difficult to forget the immense doggedness demonstrated by Rose of Sharon at the end of the novel, as she “looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously,” (p. 455). There was an abundance of strong men, yet little demand for it. What eachfamily truly needed was for someone to instill a sense of tenacity and perseverance. And as it turns out, it is the female

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