After a while the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant. Then the women knew that they were safe and that there was no break.

– John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 1. Initially the poor Oklahoma tenant farmers are confused and bewildered by the Dust Bowl’s destruction of their crops. But that reaction soon turns to anger and resistance, as they refuse to break and their instincts of survival and perseverance kick in. Despite the dying crops, the women believe that their men are not broken and their faces reflect hope. The desire of the fathers and husbands to be seen as men, breadwinners who can still provide for their family, is evident here. Instead of sinking into despair and hopelessness, the men maintain their dignity and react with anger.