The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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In chapter Eight how is Ma's character developed before and after she sees Tom?  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Chapter 8 of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath reunites Tom with his family and the reader is given a perspective on the dynamics of the Joad family.  Clearly, Ma is the emotional anchor for the others: 

Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly.  Her hazel eyes seemed to hae experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding.

The others look to Ma as a gauge of their own emotions; if she does not display hurt, they are not hurt. ...

(The entire section contains 286 words.)

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