The theme I researched was family life of the 1920's because family is so important to the Joads. The family keeps falling apart because Granma and Granpa died and Connie went away as well as Noah. Ma is falling apart due to the family falling apart. She is doing everything in her power to keep them together. Family life now and family life back in the 20's are very different. Gender roles were more specific back then, such as the women cooking and the men doing the hard work. Also the money is different. The families in the 1920's could have near nothing and be okay with it, but now all we do is feed on money. We are so greedy now. I value family a lot because my mother, similar to ma Joad, taught us that family always comes first. We would never do anything to hurt our family no matter what.
In the book, ma tries to keep the family together and she always keeps hope. Even when Pa and Uncle John couldn't find work, she keeps high hopes because Tom had. ""Glad to have you," the older man said. "We'll try to git you workin' if you want." "Ya goddamn right I want," Tom said. "Jus' wait a minute. I'll go tell my folks."" Tom wanted to make his folks happy by telling them he got work, to relieve them and let them know things might turn for the good soon. This was a picture of what the families looked like in the 1930's.