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The plans that Connie and Rose of Sharon reflect the "I" mentality that Steinbeck suggests must be overcome if individuals wish to survive in a condition of exploitation and manipulation. Their plans reflect this "I" mentality and not the "We" that defines the theme of the novel. Both Rose of Sharon and Connie declare that their plans involve them living in a house of their own, apart from the family, and a life that features material comfort on their own terms. Connie will improve himself through correspondence courses and involvement in commerce. These plans reflect a mentality that is driven by their needs and reflective of their own betterment. They show a desire to evade keeping an eye on the social maintenance of the world around them and reflect the isolationism that helped to create the conditions that the migrant workers must battle.
The plans that Connie and Rose of Sharon have made lack depth. It is for this reason that they are so easily abandoned. Connie makes clear that he is not able to sustain the focus and drive to develop these plans into a reality. Rose of Sharon, shown as self- indulgent, displays her own narcisissm when she cannot understand Ma's reticent in supporting her plans. She cannot understand what Ma does in how their plans will result in the breakup of the family. The plans that Connie and Rose of Sharon have made represent one of the last points in which individuals are shown to embrace the "I" mentality. Steinbeck uses this as a pivot to show how the "We" mentality is more sustaining and enables individuals to survive and eventually triumph. As Rose of Sharon recognizes the distinegration of these plans, this change in mentality becomes absolute and helps to define the novel's thematic meaning.
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