The Women In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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Even in today 's generation, men often forget the previous achievements women have made and continue to take them for granted. Many males have refused to assign a better position to the opposite gender, dreading the idea of females out maneuvering them. This is the 21st century, and mankind still lingers on the idea of male superiority. Due to this, some women have drafted an illusion that induces lower standards for themselves. Now not only men, but even women are doubtful of their potential because of this continuous harassment pertaining to a woman’s strength. Somehow, they stand for it. They forget about Amelia Earhart- the first woman to cross the atlantic in 1928, and Frances Perkins- the first female to enter the presidential cabinet …show more content…
The Joads family is shifting from their depressing homeland in Oklahoma to opportunity filled California. The family sets out with high hopes of the men finding jobs that can sustain their family needs. In the beginning of the book, Steinbeck displays the women as housewives and the men are always “busy with...thinking-figuring” (Steinbeck 7). He always associates the women with the children. By doing so, it is inferred that the women had as much say in business matters as the children. This changes when Grandpa Joad dies. His death brings about a new sense of power to granma Joad. She conquers this new representation of authority by being the oldest in the family. She must walk “with dignity” because she “walked for the family” (Steinbeck 188). Not only does Steinbeck raise a powerful position for Grandma, he does so by eliminating the previous superior. He kills the male. The one who is the symbol of authority. To further display feminine power, Steinbeck concludes the book with Rose of Sharon feeding a starving old man with the birth milk meant for her dead baby. Instead of being disgusted with this idea, Rose of Sharon selflessly provides the old man with something he need, without expecting anything in return. This differs from the greedy businessmen because they “dump [extra food] in the rivers... to keep the hungry people from” eating it (Steinbeck). They desire money regardless of the consequences. They choose money over people. So in this conclusion with Rose of Sharon, not only is Steinbeck showing a woman attempt to save a life; he shows a woman saving a man’s life. In the beginning Steinbeck only portrays women as bystanders. In the end, the female is the one taking action and giving aid to the man. To the poor, hungry, and pitiful

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