The Grapes of Wrath | Critical Essay by Lorelei Cederstrom

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of The Grapes of Wrath.
This section contains 6,129 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lorelei Cederstrom

SOURCE: "The 'Great Mother' in The Grapes of Wrath," in Steinbeck and the Environment: Interdisciplinary Approaches, edited by Susan F. Beegel, Susan Shillinglaw, and Wesley N. Tiffney, Jr., University of Alabama Press, 1997, pp. 76-91.

In the following essay, Cederstrom examines the significance of archetypal maternal figures and feminine values in The Grapes of Wrath. According to Cederstrom, "An archetypal analysis of Steinbeck's novel reveals that in assessing the economic problems of the 1930s he had, perhaps unconsciously, arrived at an alternative to the dominant structures of Western civilization."

Pagan cultures identify the earth, with its seasonal cycles of birth, growth, death, and renewal, with a feminine principle. Such cultures worship an earth goddess, on whose fecundity and compassion men depend, and depict her as a maternal figure, a "Great Mother." In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family, with Ma Joad as matriarch, adopt the...

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This section contains 6,129 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lorelei Cederstrom
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Critical Essay by Lorelei Cederstrom from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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