The Grapes of Wrath Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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Why does Ma feed the little ones in chapter 20 of The Grapes of Wrath? How does the other mother react? 

Ma feeds the little ones at the Hooverville camp because they are standing around the stewpot looking hungry. She finds out they haven't eaten that day. She lets them scrape what leftover stew there is in the pot because she feels sorry for them. The other mother comes over angrily and accuses Ma of putting on airs by feeding her son stew. She says her son is now asking why his own family can't have stew.

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When the family arrives at their first Hooverville, Ma decides to make a stew with potatoes and a chicken neck. Other children in the camp come and stand around the stew pot. Ma finds out that none of them have eaten that day. She says she doesn't have stew enough to go around. She explains she has to feed her own family. Nevertheless, the children stay, staring at the pot.

Ma feels...

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