The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
Ma Joad Timeline and Summary
- When Ma sees Tom for the first time in a long time, fireworks practically shoot out of her ears, she's so happy.
- Cooking breakfast and salting pigs make for a busy day. Ma feeds the family before the journey westward.
- The Joad truck is too overloaded, and so Ma Joad has to burn a lot of her possessions.
- When Grampa won't get in the Joad truck, Ma drugs him by mixing his coffee with sleepytime cough medicine.
- As Grampa grows more and more sick in the Wilson's tent, Ma takes care of him.
- Sairy Wilson is nice to Ma Joad, and the two women form a bond.
- Ma Joad prepares Grampa's dead body.
- When Tom suggests that the family push on and leave him with the broken touring car, Ma has a hissy fit.
- As Granma grows more and more sick, Ma Joad nurses her.
- When a Jehovite woman clad in black comes to pray over Granma, Ma kicks her out of the Joad tent.
- The rude policeman almost gets a skillet chucked at his head when Ma Joad kicks him out of her tent.
- Ivy Wilson refuses to accept the Joad's food and money, but Ma Joad leaves it on the ground for him nonetheless.
- Granma's health continues to decline, and Ma Joad nurses her in the back of the Joad truck.
- Granma dies in Ma Joad's arms.
- The border guard stops the Joads so that he can inspect the truck for fruit, but Ma Joad begs him to let them pass quickly.
- When they can see the valley before them, Ma Joad tells the family that Granma Joad is dead and has been dead for a while.
- When they reach Bakersfield, Ma Joad, Pa Joad, and Uncle John take Granma to the coroner's office.
- As soon as they get to the Hooverville, Ma Joad cooks a stew for breakfast.
- The morning after the Joads reach Weedpatch, Ma scrambles to get herself and her campsite prim and proper for the Ladies Committee.
- Ma Joad watches the Weedpatch dance with Rose of Sharon.
- With no jobs to be found, Ma Joad makes the executive decision that the family will leave Weedpatch in search of jobs.
- After the men have earned a dollar picking peaches, Ma Joad buys groceries at the peach camp's grocery store.
- With her groceries, Ma cooks hamburgers for the family.
- The next morning, Ma picks peaches.
- When Winfield eats too many peaches, Ma nurses him back to health by giving him some milk.
- Now that they are living large on the salary of cotton pickers, Ma Joad cooks pork chops and potatoes for the family on her boxcar stove.
- When Ruthie spills the Tom beans, Ma Joad visits Tom in the brush, brings him dinner, and tells him he has to run away.
- Ma Joad says goodbye to Tom.
- When Rose of Sharon catches a chill, Ma Joad takes good care of her.
- With Mrs. Wainwright's help, Ma Joad delivers Rose of Sharon's stillborn baby.
- The floodwaters continue to rise, and Ma Joad decides that the will go find higher and drier ground.
- In the barn Ma Joad asks the boy for a blanket.
- After exchanging a meaningful look with Rose of Sharon, Ma Joad ushers the Joads and the little boy out of the barn, leaving Rose of Sharon and the starving man alone.