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Pa Joad

Pa Joad

Pa Joad is a good, thoughtful man, and he plans the family’s trip to California with great care and consideration. The hardships faced by the Joads prove too great for him, however, and although he works hard to maintain his role as head of the family, he complains of muddled thoughts and finds himself in frequent quandaries. Until the very end, Pa exhibits a commitment to protecting his family. His determination to erect a dam is a moving testament to his love and singleness of purpose. When his efforts begin to fall short, however, Pa despairs. In California, his inability to find work forces him to retreat helplessly into his own thoughts. As a result, he becomes less and less effective in his role as family leader, and Ma points this out directly. Upon leaving the Weedpatch camp, she boldly criticizes him for losing sight of his responsibility to support the family. By the end of the novel, further diminished by the failed attempt to prevent the family’s shelter from flooding, he follows Ma as blindly and helplessly as a child. Pa’s gradual breakdown serves as a sharp reminder that hardship does not always “build character.” Though the challenges of the Joads’ journey serve to strengthen Ma, Tom, and even Rose of Sharon, they weaken and eventually paralyze Pa.

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PA JOAD QUIZ

Which phrase best describes Tom Joad’s life philosophy at the start of the book?
Quid pro quo
Carpe diem
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Pa Joad QUIZ

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GOW Chapter 20

by teamME815, August 10, 2012

Tom, after he gets turned away from the north town decides to go around the angry californians to a work camp safe for his family and away from cops

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28 out of 66 people found this helpful

Role of Ma Joad

by fallen_angel14, August 16, 2012

Ma Joad is basically the only reason the family is still together. She gives support to the family and carries most of the burden

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47 out of 57 people found this helpful

west coast beats all

by WildlifeRunner19, March 31, 2013

i do appreciate steinbeck's powerful insight on migrant work in california despite a small resentment at his shaming of my state

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11 out of 66 people found this helpful

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