The men sat in the doorways of their houses; their hands were busy with sticks and little rocks. The men sat still – thinking – figuring.

– John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 1. The last lines of the chapter link to the theme of gender. Men are portrayed as the thinkers of the family, who figure out a solution to the decaying crops brought about by the environmental disaster of the 1930s Dust Bowl drought.