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Word Count: 385
Ma Joad is one of the main characters in John Steinbecks novel Grapes of Wrath Ma is a strong wife and mother who is the leader of the family She does anything to keep the family together In Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck uses two literary techniques direct description and portrayal of characters behavior to create the character Ma Joad With the use of the literary technique direct description Steinbeck describes Mas physical appearance He describes her as heavy but not fast thick with childbearing and work Her thin steel gray hair was gathered in a spore wispy knot at the back of her head He describes her arms as freckled and bare to the elbow and her hands as chubby and delicate like those of a plump little girl With the use of portrayal of characters Steinbeck presents the actions and speech of Ma allowing the reader to draw his own conclusion from what MA says or does Throughout the novel Mas face showed that it is controlled and kindly She is the strength of the family and she always uses her emotions for her familys benefit Her family didnt feel anything she didnt feel If she felt fear the family did too Since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear she had practiced denying them in herself She always kept calm in front of the family because she knew if she showed fear she would lose control of the family She also knows her family inside and out She knows the inner need of each member of the family She knows if Pa is defeated the family will collapse so she makes sure he doesnt She knows how Rose of Sharon is troubled by her pregnancy She knows Tom has a quiet strength She knows Al doesnt know how to deal with responsibility and she doesnt criticize Uncle Johns alcohol problem Ma is the
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