Family is one of the topics that in my opinion have great importance in the book. To the Joads family equals survival. I think it is safe to say that without each other there would have been no way they could have handle the loss of their land, further the dream of start a new life in California would have been impossible without the family’s strength. Family is the one weapon that the Joads have against the each time more challenging world that surrounds them. The Joads together have a combination of qualities like: knowledge, skill, strength, dedication, hard work, and many others that each individual alone would not have.
There is no doubt that the pillar of the Joad family is Ma Joad. She keeps the family together, because she knows that her family is the only factor they have to survive and succeed. She supports the family in an insuperable way that not even Pa Joad can match. Without her I think the Joads’ journey would have end very fast.
As we could perceive in the book, families were very different back in the 30’s. Men were the main providers for the family while women were responsible for taking care of the family, keep it running and maintain the unity in the family. The most children a family could have the better for the family, because the biggest family one had, the biggest working force one had. Also back then was common to have the grandparents and sometimes uncles living all together as a family.
Today, it is fairly rare to find families with that structure. To start with it is very rare to see families with more than 3 children. The average American family has 2 children, and in many cases they are single parents. Nowadays we have one of the higher rates of divorce in the world. Close to 50% of couples end up in divorce. This makes me think and wonder if we are really moving forward. In a way I believe we have lost that value of the importance of a united family.
Certainly in actuality having a full family will not determine our survival, but in my opinion this value that was so important back then should be preserved.