This video discusses the use of gender in The Grapes of Wrath film. While there are only two women in both the film and the book, they both play important roles by the end of each adaptation. The book gives Rose of Sharon the final scene by saving a sick man with her breast milk. This ending was highly controversial, however, and those involved with the creation of the film changed the movie around enough to not incorporate it. Still, preserving the completion of the film by a woman, viewers get to see Ma Joad deliver the final lines of the film. John Ford declared after the film’s publication that he would have ended the movie with Tom walking off into the night, but the screenwriter and others involved had this scene in mind. It is unclear whether Ford was even present to direct this final scene.
- Charles J. Shindo, Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination, Rural America (Lawrence, Kan.) (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997), 162.