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Rose of Sharon stands as a stark contrast to the rest of the characters in The Grapes of Wrath. She is the only adult character who retains some sense of hope for their future; she believes in the possibility of living a decent life with her husband and eventual child. The other characters expect little more from California than meager survival, while Rose of Sharon hopes to live the traditional American dream. She is the one beacon of hope within the Joad family. Even her younger brother, Al, does not have a similar optimism. He is defensive and combative, consistently worried that others will blame him for problems with the car.