The Grapes of Wrath

What is Uncle John's role in The Grapes of Wrath?

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Uncle John is Pa Joad's brother. He has a big heart and has had a rough life, including losing his wife. He's very paranoid about people getting sick and dying. He literally is a split person...very pious most of the time, but the devil and the worst craven when he gave in to his dark side. For the most part he is the heart of the group and when he suffers it seems that the entire group does, too.