Main Characters Analysis
Pa and Ma Joad’s favorite son and the protagonist in The Grapes of Wrath, Tom is thoughtful and good natured. He also has an uncanny way of making do with the hand life deals him.
Although he committed murder and has been away from his family for four years, he does not dwell in regret. Rather, he lives in the present – which leads him to become a source of great vitality for the family.
A fierce protector and wise guide, Tom Joad exhibits morality throughout The Grapes of Wrath. This moral stance imbues him with resolve and strength. It is these traits that lead to him earning the respect of his family as well as of the workers he eventually organizes into different unions.
The Grapes of Wrath portrays Ma as gladly and knowingly fulfilling her role as the foundation and strength of her family. She heals, arbitrates in arguments, and grows in her abilities with the development of the plot.
In the novel, the author shows Pa Joad as a tenant farmer evicted from his Oklahoma farm. Good-hearted and plainspoken, he moves his family to California where his hopes of finding a job fail. To cope, he leans on Ma Joad – his wife – for leadership and length. In The Grapes of Wrath, he sometimes feels embarrassed of the weak position he has taken up in his family.
Jim Casy gave up his preaching ministry because he believed every human experience is sanctified and holy. Used by the author as a moral voice, he articulates important themes throughout the novel. Among these is the unity of man and the people’s sanctity.
Casy, who is