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Rose of Sharon

Theme

-What is the point?

 
Rose of Sharon transforms from a selfish mother-to-be to a mother of her family and of the "Okies", following in the footsteps in becoming the beautiful woman in the Songs of Solomon.
 
 
John Steinbeck alluded Rose of Sharon to the beautiful woman in Songs of Solomon in order to have his readers fully understand Rose of Sharon's revalation towards the end of the book. Throughout the book, Rose is very much a foil to her Bible counterpart. She is selfish, thinking only of herself, her baby, and the life only she and Connie will have when they reach Calfornia. She hardly helps the family. When she does help, it is because she has been ordered to do so. When Connie leaves, she burdens the family more by asking when they think he will return. "Ya think Connie'll be back to day?"
Ma: "Maybe --maybe not. Can't tell."
Roseasharn: "I wisht he'd come."
Ma: I wisht you'd get to work." (425)
However, at the end of the book, Rose of Sharon realizes that she is about to become a mother, as she feels the "weight of the baby inside her" (Steinbeck 580). She realizes that she cannot just mope around crying and complaining. In the end, it was her family that stood by her, not her husband. She begins to help around the house without being told to.
Rose of Saron:"I'll git right up."
Ma: "Whyn't you lay a minute till [the fire] warms?
Rosea of Sharon: "No, I'll git." (580)
Rose of Sharon is helping the family with the household chores out of her own free will. Later, she expresses her desire to help the family work in the cotton fields.
Rose of Sharon: "Im a-goin' out.
Ma: "Out where?"
Rose of Sharon: "Goin' out to pick cotton."
Ma: "You can't...You're too far along."
Rose of Sharon: No, I ain't. An' I'm a-going." (581). Rose of Sharon is thinking less of herself and her baby, and she is thinking of the welfare of her WHOLE family.
Her beauty comes out brilliantly when she becomes the mother of everyone. Although her baby was stillborn, she did not lose her maternal love. She gave her milk to a starving and sick man who was in the same barn as they were when they fled thier boxcar to seek shelter from the flood. The son of the man had asked them, "You folks got money to git milk? He's dyin', I tell you! He's starvin' to death, I tell you." Ma had looked at Rose of Sharon who simply and shortly said, "Yes." (618). Rose of Sharon is becoming like Ma. Ma, once the mother of the "fambly" became the mother of the "Okies." Rose of Sharon, once a self-centered mother to be, became the mother of all, fufilling her task to be the "Lily among the brambles" (S of S 2:2), bearing the image much like that of the Lily of the New Testament, the Virgin Mary who was also the mother of mankind.

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Product of West Morris Central High School 2004: Meaghan C. Sara M. Katie P.