SYMBOLS~ relating to The Grapes of Wrath
rose:beauty and perfection
gazelle: a symbol of the male lover in the Song of Solomon
foxes: "Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom" (2:15) The foxes symbolize tricksters, those who despise the Oakies and set out to destroy
Lily: most often sybolizes the Virgin Mary
the brambles: the commonalities of the world, evil and ugliness
the bushes: page 579, Rose of Sharon is proving herself beautiful,
'a lily amongst the brambles', she is also following in Ma's footsteps "She took the way Ma had gone earlier-- into the willows"
and this represents yet another step in her transformation
milk: a source of life, provided by another
>>One must not be
selfish in life, and all must work together, for that is the only way to survive<<
Rose of Sharon
painfully learned how difficult it is to be alone in life when Connie abandoned her and their unborn child. She learns that
a family does not survive because it's members do what is best for themselves individually, but because all members work together
for the sake of the family as a whole. The Oakies learn to band together as a giant force and are able to survive with
each other's support and care. Rose's final transformation occurs when she realizes this at the end of the novel and becomes
a mother to the world.
"O you who dwell in the gardens, my companions
are listening for your voice; let me hear it" (8:13).