After reading the two articles I think I have realized how much this book offers us. There is so much information that the book contains. Not only are we following a story about a family and their struggles but we are also getting taught small history lessons in the interchapters. Another thing to think about is the influence that caused this book to be written. Steinbeck lived through this and he watched and observed the people who migrated. Look at the characters in the book. My two favorite have to be Ma and Casy so it was cool that one of the articles was about Ma. Ma is looked at in a great way and she is a very strong woman. Looking at the similarities of Ma and Steinbeck's mom Olive, you can see a clear influence right there. We also get the chance to feel for the family and I think that is one aspect Steinbeck wanted his readers to do. This is what I believe, brought up the controversy. People had so many ways to look at the situation that was going on. Some people took offense to the way Steinbeck wrote the novel. It all depends on what side you were on, a migrant or not. I could go on for hours talking about this because like I said, there is so much that this book deals with. As we go along I am going to look deeper in the reading to find more meaning. It is going to be interesting to see how we apply all of this to our projects to somewhat sum everything up.
Although I see and understand the point of the "Ma Joad in the White House" article, I found it rather blunt and abrupt. To me, they just kinda forced that position on to her. I find it very interesting when articles such as those are written, because you could make an argument that any one of the characters in this novel could make a good president. Find a quality, exploit it, blow it out of proportion, throw a quote in to make your statement sound valid and anyone will believe you. I'm not saying or implying that this article was wrong in saying that Ma Joad would do a good job leading our country, I just find it humorous some of the ways some writers put articles, such as this one, together. personally I thought Susan Shillinglaw did a great job of giving the characteristics of Ma to sell us the idea of Ma Joad as president. In the second article I thought the fact that Steinbeck grew up in those conditions to be a very key part of the authenticity of the novel. I liked how the neighbor had said that she remembers it that way, all how Steinbeck wrote it. Not only are we getting a entertaining novel, but we also get a better understanding for the Dust Bowl and for the history of our country and what people went through. It said in the article "[it] moves from one family, to many families, to the human experience". I like how this quote really sums up the entirety of the novel by showing that it's more than just a story of a family, it applies to us as a whole.
The national geographic article talks about how history is starting to repeat itself but backwards compared to the circumstance in "the Grapes of Wrath." The article talks about how, now California is coming into a drought and how it is the reverse of the Joad's experience. Steinbeck's book illustrates the hardships that the migrants had in their journey and arrival in the West. Now that history is kind of repeating itself, the country should learn from the experience from the past. This is where the second article comes in and how someone like Ma in the White House would further help prevent a repeat of the struggle for the migrants. The country would benefit from that because people wouldn't be starving to death and countrymen wouldn't turn on another countryman. This would help the country get back from the depression and struggle faster, or even prevent it altogether. During the Dust Bowl event, people living on the east coast probably had no idea that these events were going on. This book raised awareness and now I think people are more aware for future or even current repeats of the circumstance.
The articles talk about ma's strength and power in the novel. This takes respect for women on steinbeck's part. It would have been easy for Steinbeck, being a man, to give little development to his female characters. He could have displayed ma as someone who was subjective to her husband and no voice. Steinbeck respected the women in his life and thus he gave ma lots of respect and power and displayed some of his mother's and wife's characteristics in her. Ma is a very independent and strong woman and it would be difficult for a male author to display this type of female character.
Ma joad really is the glue that held them together, she is strong and upright. She follows what she believes in and may be a little harsh but she won't stoptrying. i admire her character in the book, she is said to be like steinbeck's mom, which I think is nice to en corporate her in the book some way. The fact that steinbeck gave ma joad a bigger voice in this story is interesting as well, ma joad in my opinion seems more masculine when she voices her opinion, but she still recognizes her place and takes care of everyone.
Ma Joad for president!! I really enjoyed the writing style of the Washington Post article. The author really nailed Ma Joad's personality, created by John Steinbeck, on the head. She is strong-willed, stubborn, caring, compassionate, and very brave. Ma would never let her family go unfed or crumble at the sight of disaster. I believe Ma influenced her family to keep going. When granma died, Ma stayed with her body just so her family could make it to California. If that isn't love for one's family I don't know what is. It would have been easy for Steinbeck to just put Ma's character on the back burner of the plot and hear little from her. He didn't though. Thank goodness for that! Ma was one of the main reasons the family has kept going and held the family together for so long, part of that coming from her stubbornness. She refused to let the family split up at Pa's command. That woman got all the men to listen to her. Now that's saying something. Imagine what she doily do, as the article states, to a group of hard headed congressmen? She gets her self absorbed daughter Rose of Sharon to buck up and move on after her husband leaves her. Ma never gives up, and pushes her children to do so too. She's a go getter. Throughout the story, Ma demonstrates the necessary qualities the leader for our nation desperately needs. I can conclude after meeting Ma in The Grapes of Wrath that she is definitely president material based on the qualities she possesses.
****could not doily haha. Stupid autocorrect.
Ma Joad for president. I believe that The Grapes of Wrath has led us all to the the leadership qualities a woman can have. Ma expresses this more than any other female in the story. She is the kick in the butt their family needs and will do anything, even sleep with a corpse, to get them to where they need to be. Lady President should have these same qualities and be able to go through hardships like Ma to protect our country. This is why I can see her truly being a President. She would never let her family give up or crumble in the sight of something bad happening. Which is also another quality the President should have, she would lead this country, and not back down when there is a chance for failure. Ma says, “Woman got all her life in her arms. Man got it all in his head,” late in the book. This shows how power hungry men can be and how level headed she is. Which is also a President worthy quality. I think fierce is the perfect word to explain her personality because she will go to hell and back just to protect what she thinks is right, as we can see in the novel. When Rosasharn is acting herself Ma just tells her to get up and brush it off, because in that time that is all she could do. Normal woman wouldn't be able to handle that emotional and stressful journey but Ma Joad handles it graciously and appreciates what she can get. I completely understand why they even took the time to write this article, Ma Joad would be a selfless, loyal, brave, intelligent, and level headed President.
****led us all to SEE the***(first sentence)
I love how in the Washington Post article, they put Ma up against world leaders as if she was leading a war against them. I think this article is really creative and thoughtful.
Despite being long, these articles were good. Like Emily said, I'm now thinking more about how much the book has to offer and what it symbolizes, not in the book itself, but for American culture. I really like how in the Washington Post article, at the end it says, "So elect a Ma Joad. She’ll be there for the 99 percent" Because that's something our country could have used back then, now, and in the future.
After reading both articles I really was more interested in the National Geographic article. The part that I thought was interesting was the part when it talks about Steinbecks neighbor and after reading The Grapes Of Wrath and seeing how the Okies were treated she remembers herself feeling those same exact feelings towards the Okies as Steinbeck describes in his book. But after reading it she says feels empathy for the travelers because that is what Steinbeck was trying to make you feel after reading the travelers experiences.
I really liked both of the articles because they show the importance of the different aspects of this book. I also think that Ma Joad should be president because she shows great leadership skills and she was the one that kept the family on track during their trip to California. This book holds so much historical information that it could probably be used as a text book for teaching about the dust bowl period.
I really liked the Washington Post article. I loved how well they captured Ma's character and how they used her experiences in the book to compare how she would act against other leaders. I think this article made some very good points and I would vote for Ma Joad for President after reading that. I liked how they pointed out these amazing and strong qualities of hers and applied them to such a "serious" topic. I never would have thought about "Ma Joad as President" but now I like that idea.
I read the 75th anniversary article by National Geographic. My favorite part if the article was the current event connection that they bring to light. They show how history is repeating itself with the horrible drought and high unemployment in the state of California. Whenever I think of California as I think most do I imagine a great state full of tech industry, vineyards and movie stars but this arrival shows the harsh times they are facing.
I liked the national geographic one more because it included information on how the Dust Bowl effected the rest of the nation. It was a very informative article that put the Jode family's experience into a larger view.
After reading both of these articles it made me think way more about the book. Both of these articles presented many new ideas to me. I found Susan Shillinglaws article interesting because it made me realize that there was a big difference between the men and womens reactions to the "disaster." I agree with her that the women took the problem much better than men. I found this quote from her article that demonstrates it.“Woman got all her life in her arms. Man got it all in his head,” she says late in the book. “ I also found the National Geographic article helpful because it explained the actual facts about the Dust Bowl. I am glad I read these articles. They gave a way better understanding of the book.
The washington post article to me didnt seem all to serious. It to me was to focused on one person in the book. It also ended up in a way mocking the book.
The second article was more inciteful giving people more information on the time that the book is set in and the situation of the dust bowl.
I read the article "Ma Joad in the White House", and it strikes me as odd that so few leaders exhibit all of the traits we find so admirable in Ma Joad. While many exhibit some of her traits, very few people have all of what Ma Joad has that has made her such a memorable character.
I like the point that Shillinglaw makes in the Washington Post article. She points out that Ma Joad exhibits great leadership skills and strong values. Steinbeck probably modeled Ma Joad after the ideas of his wife or was at least greatly influenced by his wife to portray Ma Joad that way. I don't think that these traits are gender exclusive like Shillinglaw seems to think though.
Ma Joad in the White House! I'm questioning the stability of our nation and the strength of its leaders (not to mention the mental soundness of the author) if the auhor thinks that a fictional character from a novel written 75 years ago could run the country in a satisfying manner. That is the whole point of fictional characters; they represent humans in general, each character has a specific purpose. Ma is meant to hold the family together and to drive them on to greater things-so she would probably be a good president. That is not going to ever happen though. Perhaps we could learn from her actions and thoughts to make ourselves a better and more well run nation, but imagining her as president and setting her up so so high is totally pointless.
After reading both of the articles, I would have to say the " the grapes of wrath" was my favorite out of the two articles. It showed how people then and people even now think that the dust bowl happened because it was a natural disaster but what some people still don't know is that there was a human influence on the dust bowl and how we didn't have good agricultural practices. What I also like from the article was that is said “If you were making money, you didn’t like [Steinbeck]. If you were coming up through the classes, you were a fan of him. But even those that disliked him respected his writing." I liked that because no matter what social class you are in, you can never run from reality and the truth.
After reading both of these articles, I see on one hand, the struggle that everyone was facing especially the 'Oakies', and on the other hand I see how they dealt with the struggle and how Ma was really the driving force behind the Joad family. Ma is really independent ad a very strong woman, and I definitely agree with the article that is Ma for president, in that she is always a conjoining force for her family, when they start to slip apart, she is the glue that holds it all together. I really liked how the article used examples from the book and I espicially liked the example about Casey, and how he said that if a man needs all of that land to feel rich, then he is pretty poor on the inside, and I like how the article said that the Joads haven't ever been poor.
I read the 'Ma Joad in the white house' I liked the point of it, how Ma Joad is the center, and she keeps the family together, and I understand how that will help in the White House with all the delegation that has been happening now a days.
The first article in my opinion was better of the two, because it provided a more enjoyable reading experience and the second one was more factual.
Ma Joad obviously runs the household for not just her family but several families as well. She always makes her demands and they are always met, she knows how to keep her family together and she cares for her families but all the conjoined families as well. She puts forth effort and makes sure that people know she is in charge. She is an admirable character and in "Ma Joad in the White House" she would be considered the President. She runs the family like the president runs the country.
I agree wit Zach. The National Geographic article did a good job at representing the nation as a whole rather than simply the families in Oklahoma ans other places primarily affected. It shows the different ways the country was affected. Sometimes in ways you dont necessarily think of!
I like the fact that in "Ma Joad in the White House" they really touch on how important Ma is to the family. She is the bond that holds them all together. I also find this interesting because of women's roles during the time. For example during the meeting the joads held before they went on the road the men were the head of the family but in reality Ma is the one who holds them all together.
I really enjoyed the first article compared to the second one. The first article was enjoyable because even though it provided a lot of factual information, it wasn't dull. I really like how strong they portray Ma; like she can go up against anyone, at any time. I really like how they dig deep into her characterization and make her a really good icon or role model for the family. It seems to me that they portray her like if she wasn't there, the family probably wouldn't be either because a lot of the time her strength and faith is what keeps them moving. She even forces others to be strong and to get over things that are really small compared to what they go through. I also feel like this article allowed me to take more from the book, especially with how well they characterized Ma and the family. I really like that they made outside connections so we can relate to it as readers. Even though we didn't experience the Dust Bowl, we all do have our family arguments or set-backs, but this book shows how strength and faith in one-another keeps a family together.
I really liked how both of the articles made references to contemporary issues. In this class most of what we read is really old and sometimes I have a hard time drawing connections to real life. I agree with Lisa that it's interesting in the first article how they really focus on Ma Joad and make the whole book seem like it's about her. She is great and she does keep the family together but I think they exaggerate her role slightly to make a point. One question I've had this whole time is why does everyone go to California? If they knew that lots of other people were going to California too wouldn't they think about the lack of jobs and maybe go somewhere else?
These articles, especially the National Geographic one, made me think harder about what a talented writer Steinbeck is. I enjoy reading what he writes, and how it's so descriptive and all-encompassing, but think about actually trying to write this book. Like sitting down at home with a pen and paper and coming up with this story, and all the empathy and the interconnectedness and the history and the timing. It's so much to think about, and it's so well done. Like Emily said, it has a lot to offer. The first article, I think, is really accurate about Ma's character; she'd never let anyone go hungry or left out. No matter how controversial she was, she would always choose helping someone, economically practical or not - like her sharing the stew with those children when the family arrived in California. The second article was also helpful. I understood what it was saying about California always being an "Edenic" place, even now. But thing is, during the Joad's journey, even though I knew everything wasn't going to be peachy in California, I found myself believing in their dream. We're so used to books and movies where you just anticipate the sweet ending, that I would catch myself thinking "I can't wait until they get to California and survive all their troubles and live happily ever after." I think that's why I agreed so much with the National Geographic article saying that California has always been, and still is, a sort of American dream in itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these articles. (to my surprise) although the second article written by National Geographic was still good, i found entertainment in the way the Washington Post presented their's. I would tend to agree with the author in the sense that Ma Joad was a very important figure in the novel. Not only was she a woman in an era where women were just beginning to gain the respect of men, but she was a wise and firey woman. She was witty and spoke when the time was right. She was angry when she needed to be, she stood up or what she believed in and she held the family together. So, if Ma Joad was to be on the ballet for president, i would say sure, why not? She has a voice in the novel in which a bull would stop dead in its tracks if she yelled at it. So yes, i agree with the author and i really enjoyed the style.
The second article written by National Geographic was the more educational of the two. I liked how they talked about Steinbeck unveiling unspeakable concepts (which was the truth) even though he probably knew people would be offended. I liked both of the articles because they made the book seem more in depth than what the reader would get out of it.
I like what David said about the relevance to California in current times. It really illuminated something that nobody wants to think about our current culture dealing with, that being unemployment, drought, etc.
I liked what the National geographic article said about how Steinbeck was writing about the time period he lived in. When you're reading the book, it can be easy to get into the mindset that it's like a history book, but Steinbeck was writing about the problems of his time. I think it just shows Steinbeck's merit as a writer that he was able to dissect complex social issues of the time, and weave them into such a cohesive, entertaining novel.
After reading the articles I thought they both had lots of interesting information in them. I had never noticed how strong of a character Ma Joad is. She really is the one that keeps the family goin throughout the book. I liked how it compare her actions to problems in the world today like cutting food stamps. I also liked how the second article compared the drought in California today to the dust bowl
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