2 February 2013
The Grapes of Wrath:
Jim Casy as a Christ Figure
In the novel "The Grapes of Wrath", George Steinbeck portrays Jim Casy as a Christ-like figure in many ways. This allows us the opportunity to see Casy as an overall better person throughout the entirety of the novel.
At the beginning of the novel, we are instantly hit with the fact that Casy was a preacher, but is no longer one because his beliefs conflict with the so-called "mainstream" religion. This is much like Jesus and the Pharisees because Jesus opposes their thoughts on religious principles..
The second, but most obvious way that Steinbeck portrayed Jim as a Christ-like figure at the beginning of the novel is that both Jim Casy and Jesus Christ have the initials "JC." This cannot be by coincidence because of how relevant it is to the rest of the novel. This simple use of initials by Steinbeck allows us as the reader to pick up on the connection from the beginning and look for other similarities throughout the entirety of the novel.
Another key similarity between the two is that both of them went on some sort of "soul-searching" adventure into the forest in order to "find themselves." In fact, Casy even makes the comparison himself when he exclaims, "I been in the hills thinkin', almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think His way out of a mess of troubles" (chapter 8) while at the Joad dinner table. He also says, "I got tired like Him... I got mixed up like him... I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin' stuff" (chapter 8). In Mark chapter 1, Jesus goes into the wilderness, as previously stated by Casy, for forty days and has similar things happen to him. The way Casy suggest that he and Jesus are similar without using any kind of arrogance shows the reader that he was meant to be portrayed as a Christ-like figure. Steinbeck
Yet another way that Jim Casy and Jesus Christ are connected is that they...