Religion In John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath

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John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath presents the topic of religion primarily through the character of Jim Casy. In the novel, the economic and agricultural crises that took place during the 1930’s greatly affects farmers across the country. It is because of this that many have to make the journey towards California in hopes of finding prosperity. This is the time during which we see how Jim Casy and his philosophies affect the characters and thus, the story. Throughout the novel, Jim Casy is seen as the Christ figure. Even his initials, J.C., are the same as that of Jesus Christ. The novel begins with him being known as Reverend Jim Casy and being respected and looked up to by many. However, he begins to have doubts about his lifestyle and…show more content…
He wasn’t necessarily a selfish person before this, but he was an independent character, having no real link to any of the other characters. The first time that we get an inclination that Casy is transitioning from his “I” mentality that of a “we” is when he and Tom find the rest of the Joad family and Casy decides to tag along on their trip to California. Casy says that “[he] need[s] to be where the people are” (128). This further proves that he feels the need to stay in order for them to be whole in the spiritual sense. During the journey, Casy starts to understand that the only way that the people will be able to stay strong and survive everything that is thrown at them is by being united through it all because “When [we’re] all workin’ together, not one fella for another fell, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang -- that’s right, that’s holy.” We are all a part of something that is greater than just ourselves and we should work to help each other out. If we don’t, we are simply lost. Casy says, “Why do we got to hang it all on God or Jesus? Maybe,’ I figgered, ‘maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love: maybe that’s the Holy Sperit- the human sperit- the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.” Even through this revelation, Casy remains passive. His only actions are sharing his ideas and philosophy of unity with his words, there is never any physical action to…show more content…
He was one who truly believed that everyone is created equal. He didn’t judge people based on their skin color or class and urged others to do the same. We see evidence of this through his actions. He never used hurtful words towards anyone and continued to defend people and work towards fighting to raise the wages of workers even when these hurtful words were aimed at him. He was also extremely grateful towards the Joads for allowing him to travel with them, saying, “I wanna do what’s bes’ for you folks. You took me in, carried me along. I’ll do whatever.” Casy was never one to ask for money from his listeners while he was preaching because he understood that he was not the only one who needed money, his listeners were in the same

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