Plot[ edit ] The narrative begins just after Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester prisonwhere he had been imprisoned after being convicted of homicide. On his return to his home near Sallisaw, OklahomaTom meets former preacher Jim Casy, whom he remembers from his childhood, and the two travel together. Graves tells them that the banks have evicted all the farmers, but he refuses to leave the area.
Her family will only know fear and pain through her, so she works hard to deny these emotions in herself. Likewise, they look to her for laughter, so she builds joy out of small moments.
Above all, however, her calm, unflappable strength binds everyone together. Ma finds this strength in love. She is the embodiment of Casy's idea of love, possessing the same intuitive sense of morality that Tom has.
Although her primary focus is to take care of her own family, she is the first to nurture others.
As Casy observes, "She don't forget nobody. As crisis threatens to tear the family apart, she shifts to a position of active leadership.
With each assault against the unity of her clan, she gradually takes over Pa's role as head of the family. When Tom suggests splitting up the family, she threatens him with the jack. While camped at the Colorado River, she wields a skillet when confronting an officer who orders the family to leave, although her greatest concern is that he will anger Tom.
She forces the family to action in the Weedpatch camp and keeps Pa strong by giving him something to fight against. In the end, it is Ma who demands they leave the boxcars for higher ground.
This is not to say that Ma desires to be the leader. Her function within the family remains rooted in traditional feminine traits of nurturing and protection, and her primary desire is to "keep the fambly whole. Her attempts to school Rosasharn in the way to be a strong woman, keeper of the family, reinforces Ma's attitude toward her function within the family framework.Essay Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's ' The Grapes Of Wrath ' Pa Joad Early in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Pa Joad establishes a lead role as provider to the family.
Pa is the farm owner and is given respect by all of the Joad family members. The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in The book won the National Book Award  and Pulitzer Prize  for fiction, and it was cited prominently when Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck In the s, America’s Great Plains experienced a disastrous drought causing thousands of people to migrate west.
John Steinbeck emphasized the unattainable nature of the American Dream of economic stability in The Grapes of Wrath through the Joads’ cross-country migration, their constant and unpredictable.
And though the American Dream proved impossible in The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family, led by Ma Joad’s will, continued into the future with their heads held high. A possible explanation for the immediate failure could be what the Joads tied to them during their journey.
Character Analysis Tom Joad Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List While many have long believed that Jim Casy embodied Steinbeck's main philosophical beliefs, Tom Joad, completely flawed and human, is the novel's main character.