Compare and Contrast: The Characters of Jim Casy and Tom Joad as Revealed in Their First Conversation

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Jim Casy and Tom Joad reveal their characters in their first conversation. Both of them are travelers who have nowhere to stay. This becomes a strong tie between them because this is one of the minor experiences that they have in common. However, their characters are quite different. That is, comparing to Tom Joad, Jim Casy possesses more conscience and more sense to take responsibility. Though Casy is prone to act careless at what he did wrong, he still feels guilty. For example, when Casy expresses that there is no place to lead the people to, Joad says “Lead’em around and around. Just lead them” (Steinbeck 21). Unlike what Joad suggests, Casey wants to lead people to somewhere, which shows that he feels obligated to his work. In contrast, Joad reveals the irresponsibility and imprudence in his character because his responses shows that he is heedless. Furthermore, Joad does not feel guilty about his misdeed. For instance, Joad says to Casy that he is not ashamed of killing a person. This indicates the fading of Joad’s moral values because he is not regretful at all about his crime. On the contrary, Casy is guilty about his sins. When he tells Joad that he sleeps with the girls, “he looked over at Joad and his face looked helpless” (Steinbeck 22). This implies that he is compunctious about his immoral act because he looks as if he is abashed and does not know what to do. In spite of Casy’s shameful feeling, Joad, on the other hand, says “Maybe I should of been a preacher. I been a long time without a girl” (Steinbeck 22). This indicates that he thinks it is acceptable to have intimate physical contacts with women and dally with there affections, which in Casy’s opinion is sinful. In conclusion, Casy thinks relatively conscientiously and owns a sense of being responsible. Joad is relatively imprudent and has little moral sense.
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