Ruth always relies on Pilate for financial support, so she never becomes independent. She is always taken care of by men in the book. However, she does at times make attempts to go against another's will. When she is forced to have an abortion, she only sticks the needles in partially, thereby evading Macon Jr.'s demands. She also ignores Macon Jr.'s demands to stop visiting her father's grave because she continue to do so. So she doesn't have a dramatic change in the novel, but she is a foil for Pilate.