Rose of Sharon is the oldest
of the Joad daughters, high-spirited, impratical, and pregnant. She is the stereotype of a young, saucy girl transformed
into a secretive woman, blushing with pride because of the new life inside her. "She was all secrets now she was
pregnant, secrets and little silences that seemed to have meanings" (Steinbeck 175). Her husband is Connie, a young
man of nineteen, "proud and fearful of Rose of Sharon. [He] had married a plump, passionate hoyden, [and] was frightened and
bewildered at the change in her...There was a balanced, careful, wise creature who smiled shyly but firmly at him" (130).
Together, they live in constant affection and pleasure, dreaming of the life they will make for themselves when they reach
the promised land of California. This dreams are destroyed, however, by the brutality of traveling. Connie abandons
the Joad family and leaves his wife desolate, and Rose delivers a stillborn child "a blue shrivled little mummy" (603). She
is childless and hopeless, as the family reaches its most desperate point. Taking shelter from an unceasing rain, the Joads
come across a young boy and his starving father in a barn, Rose immediately finds a purpose in her life and gave her milk
to the man. "She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously" (619).