The Strong’s Reality and the Weak’s Fantasy
“A woman is like a tea bag,” Eleanor Roosevelt once said; “you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” The hot water is the times of trouble; when these difficult situations come about, women’s strength surfaces and manifests. In Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Ma, wife of Pa and mother of a few children, has the power in the family, while Jackie, David’s wife and mother of several children, from Queen of Versailles by director Lauren Greenfield barely has any power in her family, for one lives in an imaginary world and the other has a full grasp on the true world. A woman’s grasp of reality is essential to her family’s survival.
Having a strong contact with reality is a sign of strength, a strength Jackie lacks, for she is “in [a] fantasy world until reality hits” (Greenfield). Unwisely utilizing money in large amounts to buy unnecessary objects, Jackie, despite supposedly being the second-in-command of her family, remains unaware her family does not have enough money to spend wildly and uncaringly. Therefore, instead of keeping the family strong, she sinks it into debt. Moreover, Jackie, by circumventing her reality check, similarly how she brings her family debt, believes she gains strength from her marriage to David, whilst, entirely opposite to her thinking, David does not gain strength from the marriage, even going as far as to describe Jackie as his wife is the same as having another child (Greenfield). Jackie does not have a stable grasp of the current reality. This also shows Jackie’s position in the family: equal to her children, meaning she has no power within it—she has no role. Her having no authority leaves David to pull the family’s weight because Jackie is not giving the support and protection David cannot give, allowing apertures for whatever harms that may come to pass through and crumble the family.
Contrasting Jackie, “Ma [is] powerful in the group”; “she [is] the power”...