ARCHETYPAL MANIFESTATION OF MATRIARCHY IN THE POST-DEPRESSION ERA IN STEINBECK’S THE GRAPES OF WRATH
The study aims to analyze the archetypal manifestation of matriarchy and new gender roles in the family in John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Through the close reading of the text from the perspectives of Radical feminism, with references Kate Millet, Simon de Beauvoir, and the like, the paper focuses on how the protagonist of the novel, The Grapes of Wrath, Ma Joad breaks patriarchal rules and becomes the new leader of her family, and plays a greater role, different from the traditional submissive character to maintain the family’s unity during the historical context of the ‘Great Migration’. The female characters of the novel display a vital spirit in establishing the community of fraternity ignoring the exploitations imposed on them by the men in their patriarchal society earlier. The finding is that in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the more distant the Joads are from their homeland, the more obstacles they face along the journey, and the more unfit Pa Joad becomes for the family’s responsibilities, the stronger and more decisive Ma Joad becomes. The new social roles in society allow women the power of thinking and standing up for their position and place in society.