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.
Roseasharn: "I wisht he'd
Ma: I wisht you'd get to
However, at the end of
the book, Rose of Sharon becomes more parallel to her female counterpart in the Song of Songs.She 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
Ma: "Whyn't you lay a minute
till [the fire] warms?
Rosea of Sharon: "No, I'll
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'
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
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.