Friday, November 2, 2012

Grapes of Wrath Week 4: Almost certainly not worth the wait

I'm so embarrassingly behind that I ALMOST didn't even try to write this final post . . . but then a grown man suckled at a teenage girl's bosom. So . . . yeah.

I know some people have been concerned about how women are portrayed in this book, but . . . I'm more inclined to believe that the men get the short end of the gender-role stick in this one. The men are kind of powerless in this economic environment. They aren't even the sole providers anymore, now that women and children are taking to the fields to help bring in the pennies. And, at least in the Joad family, Ma is quite publicly running the show.
"'You get your stick, Pa,' she said. 'Times when they's food an' a place to set, then maybe you can use your stick an' keep your skin whole. But you ain't a-doin' your job, either a-thinkin' or a-workin'.'" (p. 388)
I would prefer that use of a stick not be acceptable in ANY situation, but we'll take what we can get here.

What Pa DOES get to do is say all the things I'm thinking.
"Uncle John shook his head over his plate. 'Don't look like we're a-gonna get shet of this here. I bet it's my sin.'
'Oh, shut up!' Pa cried. 'We ain't got time for your sin now.'" (p. 433)
"Ma said softly, 'Pa, I got to talk to you. Ruthie tol' some kids how Tom's a-hidin'.
'She tol'. Got in a fight an' tol'.'
'Why, the little bitch!'" (p. 456)
God bless you, Pa.

On a more serious note (because the REST of GoW is such a hoot), I kind of think Tom drowned? Because he was living in a bush . . . and then there was a lot of rain. Someone should probably look into that.

"Tom looked over at the wide-eyed children. They seldom blinked their eyes. It was as though they were afraid something might happen in the split second of darkness." (p. 441)

OK . . . so the breast feeding. I GET what Steinbeck is going for here. Desperate times, desperate measures. People have to help each other. And it's kind of nice that Rose of Sharon gets a chance to redeem herself for being generally the most selfish person ever for the vast portion of this book.

But when I read this:
"Her fingers moved gently in his hair. She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously" (p. 502)
all I can pictures is this:


  1. WHY WHY WHY. You just RUINED EWOKS for me!!! Bahahaha!

    But yes, I could have dealt with the breastfeeding if it hadn't been for that description - why did Rosasharn have to ENJOY it?! Gross.

  2. I assumed that Tom went away like as soon as Ma was like 'oh, Ruthie was a dick so now you have to go' SO I choose to believe he's not dead. Although he could easily be.

    And duuuude, YES Pa saying all those things! And thank god someone had the good sense to call Ruthie a bitch, because come ON, Ruthie, use your head!

    In conclusion, I am pleased this was a post :)

  3. HAHAHA didn't even get to read this book, but your blog gave me theterribledesire to read it, even though everyone was ranting about it!

  4. That Ewok gif. And now that's all I can picture when I think of that scene. Cos it needed to be extra creepy.

    I'm also now worried Tom is dead. Though I figured he was probably going to club some guy to death and end up in jail pretty quickly anyway. Things weren't looking good for Tom in our versions.

  5. ZOMG MEGS WITH THAT EWOK KILL IT WITH FIRE *runs away into the night*

    But yes, Pa says All The Appropriate Things and I lurve it.

  6. "Oh, shut up!' Pa cried. "

    I highlighted that and said that Uncle John is the Eeyore of the group.

    Tom's dead somehow.

  7. NO ONE CAN EVER RUIN EWOKS. Because they are the greatest.

  8. Oh yeahhhh...he was gonna leave because of The Brat. and her GIANT mouth. He's totally alive.

  9. WHEN you read it, feel free to rant. We'll be listening.

  10. I kind of love ewoks...even the creepy ones.


  12. STOP it. Laura and I have decided that Tom is thriving in the shrubbery somewhere.

  13. HAH! I looooooved that Ewok movie when I was a kid. Poor little Cindel.

    I didn't finish this one, as you may have noticed on Twitter. Actually, I still have a stack of Post-It flags tucked into page 70 because that's as far as I got. But what I DID get out of this read-a-long is a folder full of sad GIFs (and very OMG ones from the final posts), so yay!

    I'm glad you finished it. :D

  14. If all you got out of a readalong is a folder of sad GIFs, you still got quite a lot. That's what I say.

  15. Creepy ewok is creeeeeepy! Good job finishing this AND posting. Solid accomplishments, both. I am with Tika in that these readalongs are the BEST even if you don't actually read along.

  16. Right? Everyone needs more GIFs.