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 road trip continues, Pa soon loses his authoritative stance due to his lack of abilities. As them family encounter difficult conflicts, he begins to relinquish his character as leader to Ma. The major scene of this turning point is when the Wilson’s car breaks down leading to the possible split up of the unstable Joad family. Malcontent about this Ma stands up to protest against Pa. “The while group watched the revolt…And Pa’s anger did not rise, and his hands hung limply at his sides. And in a moment the group knew that Ma had won. And Ma knew it too”(Steinbeck231). At this significant point on in the novel, Pa is no long productive, and looses the ability to supply the family in the conventional sense. In the novel, Pa represents the theme of the loss of human dignity due to his weakness, the incapability to adapt.
Unlike the three vulnerable males Ma, one of the most development characters, confiscates Pa’s influence and dominance as the nucleus-like center of the family. . With this new force, Ma ‘forces the men to accede to the human needs of the family’ (Cederstorm). Unfortunately, “she loses faith as she sees her family falling apart…however…she knows the importance of the whole including the family unit and the larger human family” (Hinds 80). Nonetheless, Ma still carries out the duty