The Grapes of Wrath

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Pa is the easygoing head of the Joad family. He often feels responsible for taking care of the entire family, even when this task far exceeds his abilities, and he works tirelessly for the Joads’ benefit. He also feels guilt for his firstborn son Noah’s poor health, as he hand-delivered Noah when the child was born. Occasionally, Pa feels emasculated by Ma, who takes a more dominant role in the leadership of the family.

Pa Joad Quotes in The Grapes of Wrath

The The Grapes of Wrath quotes below are all either spoken by Pa Joad or refer to Pa Joad. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of The Grapes of Wrath published in 2002.
Chapter 10 Quotes

And now they [the Joads] were weary and frightened because they had gone against a system they did not understand and it had beaten them.

Related Characters: Tom Joad, Ma Joad, Pa Joad, Rose of Sharon, Grampa Joad, Granma Joad, Al Joad
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

Some of the members of the family had gone into town to sell everything in the house that they can. They have returned, however, with only eighteen dollars for all of it. They felt that their belongings were worth much more, but the buyer wouldn't pay more than that for them, and they could not find a way to "beat" this system. This is the first hint for the Joads that their plan of salvation, their migration to California, will be beset with difficulties just as great as those they have faced in Oklahoma. Their battles with the "system" will not end just because they are leaving this one physical place. Indeed, it is their lack of understanding how exactly this system works, and what its power might have in store for them, that increases their suspicion and even despair before the long road ahead of them.

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Pa Joad Character Timeline in The Grapes of Wrath

The timeline below shows where the character Pa Joad appears in The Grapes of Wrath. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Casy asks Tom about his father, Ol’ Tom Joad , and Tom confesses that he hasn’t heard anything from him in four years. Tom... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...to be in the same place as he left it, “’less somebody stole it, like Pa [Joad] stole it.” Tom explains that the Joads first got their land when Tom’s father,... (full context)
Chapter 8
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...his family is getting ready to hit the road soon. Tom comes across his father, Pa, working on the car. Ol’ Tom Joad takes a while to recognize his own son.... (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...by his wife, Granma Joad. Tom’s older brother, Noah, also comes to say hello. Noah, Pa Joad’s first-born, is strange-looking, emotionally distant, and apathetic. Noah was delivered by Pa himself when... (full context)
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...“Rose of Sharon”), Tom’s sister, is now pregnant and living with her husband, Connie Rivers. Pa shows Tom the car they bought and fixed up with the help of Al, Tom’s... (full context)
Chapter 10
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...family would be happy to have him, and they’ll decide if there’s room when Al, Pa, Uncle John, Ruthie, and Winfield get back from selling their possessions in town. (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Muley comes by to pay his respects to the family before they leave. Pa offers Muley a chance to travel with them to California, but Muley refuses. Ma Joad... (full context)
Chapter 13
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...prayer for Grampa, and the Joads throw together a slapdash funeral with the Wilsons’ help. Pa and Uncle John debate reporting Grampa’s death legally, which requires a forty dollar fee, but... (full context)
Chapter 16
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Tom, Al, and Casy volunteer to stay with the car while the group continues on. Pa supports this plan, but Ma challenges his authority by refusing to go along. Pa, humiliated... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
At the camp, a haggard man tells Pa that he’s on his way back from California, and that the Joads’ search for work... (full context)
Chapter 18
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
At the river, Pa and Tom encounter a boy and his father, who are returning from California after being... (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
The Joads prepare to leave quickly, fearing the cops. Tom tells Pa that Noah has left on his own, and Pa blames himself for the boy’s eccentricities. (full context)
Chapter 20
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
The family takes Granma’s body to the coroner’s office. Pa and Uncle John are ashamed to be unable to afford a proper funeral ceremony. (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
...Uncle John anguish, and John needs to get drunk to cope with it. Ma and Pa give him permission to go. (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Tom returns to his family. He tells Pa that they need to leave, because the camp will likely be burned tonight. Rosasharn cannot... (full context)
Chapter 22
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
At the camp, Pa, Al, and Uncle John prepare to search for work. As Ma cooks breakfast, the camp... (full context)
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Pa, Al, and Uncle John come home empty-handed: they couldn’t find work. Ma is hopeful, trusting... (full context)
Chapter 24
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
A man tells Pa a story about a group of mountain people who formed a union while working for... (full context)
Chapter 26
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...only man able to find work. Ma Joad insists that they leave the next morning. Pa is indignant that a woman is telling him what to do. Ma dares him to... (full context)
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
...family decides to leave the camp, and Ma is adamant that Tom come with them. Pa resents her dominance but agrees. (full context)
Chapter 30
Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Pa gets the rest of the men from the boxcars to help build a dam to... (full context)
Dignity, Honor, and Wrath Theme Icon
Faith and Guilt Theme Icon
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
When Pa returns from the failed effort to build the dam, Mrs. Wainwright tells him that Rosasharn’s... (full context)
Powerlessness, Perseverance, and Resistance Theme Icon
Family, Friendship, and Community Theme Icon
Pa uses the family’s last bit of money to buy potatoes for dinner. After days of... (full context)