The Grapes of Wrath: an Analysis of Rosasharn Essay examples

717 Words Nov 24th, 2011 3 Pages
The Grapes of Wrath: An Analysis of Rose of Sharon

Some people grow up naturally, stage by stage. Other people stay immature longer and are forced to grow up rapidly because of the situations that come upon them. In John Steinbeck’s Dust Bowl epic The Grapes of Wrath, the figure perfectly representing this is Rose of Sharon.
At the beginning of the novel, Rose of Sharon (or Rosasharn as she is called by the rest of the Joad family) is the eldest daughter of the Joad family, and is dreamy and self centered, blissfully unaware of anything other than her own happiness and contentment. She is expecting a child with Connie Rivers, who announces big plans to study electronics at night in hopes of giving his family a better life than that
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This causes her to become reserved and silent, obviously mortified by Connie’s betrayal and abandonment.
While at Weedpatch, a government camp, Rosasharn meets Mrs. Sandry, a religious fanatic that warns her about the dangers of dancing, singing, and play acting that go on at the camp. She succeeds in frightening Rose of Sharon by stating that the babies of these “sinners” are born “dead and bloody” (310). After the woman leaves, Rosasharn is reduced to tears as she is convinced her baby will be born dead as Mrs. Sandry said and she once again mourns Connie’s abandonment. When Ma discovers her, she manages to get her out of her depression a bit by saying, “You’re jest one person. An’ they’s a lot of other folks” (300). What Ma is trying to say in the novel is “Your opinion of yourself is what matters, because everyone else is going to judge you, but only you can accept the judgment.”
In the last chapter of the book, the family finds shelter from a storm in an old barn, where they find an old man dying of starvation and his young son beside him. Ma exchanges a look of meaning with Rosasharn, and she knows that Rosasharn understands what she must do. To save the old man from death, Rosasharn does something both brave and selfless, and has the old man suckles the milk that would have otherwise gone to her dead baby. This is where Rose of Sharon truly grows up, for when one is in need she is able to put others before herself and give life to someone in