In creating the character of Rose of Sharon, Steinbeck relies heavily on stereotypes. We read that pregnancy has transformed the girl from a “hoyden”—a high-spirited and saucy girl—into a secretive and mysterious woman. Time and again, Steinbeck alludes to the girl’s silent self-containment and her impenetrable smile. This portrayal of pregnancy may initially seem to bespeak a romanticism out of keeping with Steinbeck’s characteristic realism. However, Steinbeck uses such seemingly trite details to prepare Rose of Sharon for the dramatic role she plays at the end of the novel. When she meets the starving man in the barn, she becomes saintly, otherworldly. Her capacity to sustain life, paired with her suffering and grief for her dead child, liken her to the Virgin Mother and suggest that there is hope to be found even in the bleakest of circumstances.
More characters from The Grapes of Wrath
Tom, after he gets turned away from the north town decides to go around the angry californians to a work camp safe for his family and away from cops
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Ma Joad is basically the only reason the family is still together. She gives support to the family and carries most of the burden
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i do appreciate steinbeck's powerful insight on migrant work in california despite a small resentment at his shaming of my state
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