Rose Of Sharon
The Grapes of Wrath Character Sketch
Of all things, Rose of Sharon most strongly represents hope. As the Joad family travels to California in search of work and a future for the family Rose of Sharon manages to stay hopeful for the majority of the trip. Wearing an "unbreakable smile" Rose of Sharon laughed with Connie for days on end, no matter the bleakness of their situation. She remained hopeful that Connie would be able to take the radio class and open up his own shop to provide a good life for their new family and child, even when Connie leaves she believes that he'll come back. Rose of Sharon never gave up, she even tried to help the family pick cotton when she was nine months pregnant, and when she discovers her child was stillborn, she still moved on and helped the poor starving man with her milk.
Beauty and Purity
One theme that Rose of Sharon embodies is change, or growing and becoming stronger. In the beginning of the novel Rose of Sharon is a happy go lucky, ditsy young woman, happily married and excited about her soon to be baby and also happy about her brother's return. Throughout the Joad's journey to the west she's beaten down time and time again, though she remains strong due to her hope, and she changes as a person. As the journey continues and her husband leaves, she becomes much quieter and more reserved, she tries to protect herself by not sharing her feelings and thoughts, having been exposed to the harshness of this changing world. This adventure makes her a stronger person so that when she eventually gives birth, she discovers her child is dead, and she is able to overcome the distress quite easily, and when she gives her breast milk to the starving man she goes through another transformation. She becomes confident in her strength as a woman (even when her child was dead, she could give life to the man), as shown by her smile as she is breastfeeding. After the tribulations of the past months this dynamic character realizes that she can adjust to the changing world, and she's ready to take on the world's challenges.